Elijah was a powerful prophet. A fiery and bold man of God who seemed to be above depression and discouragement. It’s not uncommon to hear Pentecostal Christians call upon the God of Elijah, the God that answers by fire.
He demonstrated faith and courage at a time when the worship of Baal was very prevalent, and the King and Queen were active Baal worshippers.
King Ahab called him ” troubler of Israel ” .
That’s to tell you how much of a thorn in his flesh Elijah was. He did not fear Ahab. Indeed in 2 Kings 18:16, he met with Ahab even though he knew Ahab was looking for him to kill him and he sent the King to the people and to the prophets of Baal to tell them to assemble .
He did not die. Chariots literally came from heaven to take him up to heaven.
Fearless and powerful Man of God yeah! But there’s just one little thing. He was suicidal at a point. He told God he was the only prophet of God left and that he wanted to die. In fact he lay down to die. Of course God was having none of that ?.
Let’s rewind a little bit to what we read of Elijah before his suicidal words. It was of great exploits. He literally challenged four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal i.e 1 vs 450 .He taunted Baal and his prophets and demonstrated extreme faith by pouring water on the altar three good times. He then called on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and you know what happened next. In case you don’t know read 18:36 ?.
The next thing he did after fire came down and he had the prophets of Baal slaughtered was to reverse his decree of drought. Earlier in 2nd Kings 17:1 He had decreed a great drought and according to his words, so was it. There was neither dew nor rain for a few years. And true to form, a heavy rain fell.
In 18: 45, the power of the Lord came on Elijah and he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
No one is above discouragement and depression
Surprisingly, the next two verses show Jezebel issuing a threat and Elijah being afraid. He prayed for death. He became despondent and depressed and did not see anything worthy to live for. You see, that’s the thing about depression and discouragement. Discouragement especially comes when you least expect.
No body is above discouragement. If one of the greatest prophets in the Bible, Elijah forgot about anointing or power and wanted to die, then it means we all must take heed.
Discouragement is Satan’s greatest weapon. Not even Pastors, Reverends, priests, actors, presidents, evangelists are immune. No one is above being discouraged. It’s such a simple tool, yet so Lethal.
If Satan and his demons don’t get us through sex, power, sin, money or food, then discouragement is the next weapon.
Suddenly Satan whispers something to and you mull it over instead of countering it. Next thing you know, more discouraging thoughts come in and you remember all your unanswered prayers and how long you have been on one prayer point and it becomes a ” woe is me” tirade.
Discouragement set in for me a few days ago. It weighed me down so much because I didn’t quickly pinpoint discouragement as the cause. I got back home literally sick and weighed down mentally and my sister told me point blank ” This is discouragement, can’t you see? You have to fight it” . I mulled it over for a few hours, and I realized she was right. It caught me by surprise because I was in a good place emotionally and spiritually. How it crept up to me, I don’t know, but fight it I did and soon, the worst was over. Believe me! It could have been worse.
The strength to fight and overcome discouragement comes from God.
Not that it won’t come, but we will overcome. Look at how God handled Elijah’s discouragement. God knew that he needed to recharge, and he sent an angel to bring him bread and water. Not just any bread but bread baked over hot coals. That food must have been special because strengthened by that food, Elijah traveled forty days and nights.
You are NOT alone.
The Lord appeared to Elijah in Horeb and promptly disabused him of the notion he had that he was the only prophet of God left. That’s the thing about discouragement. It makes you feel alone, like you are the only one in this, whereas you are not. God is with you. Plus there’s someone somewhere going through same thing as you are, or worse.
Don’t underestimate the power of discouragement.
It can lead to loss of everything one has worked for, depression, suicide and even sickness.
Don’t listen to the thoughts that come with discouragement
Believe me, the most outlandish lies and thoughts come with discouragement. The aim is for you to give up, get tired of waiting, make it seem like God has forgotten you, like you are a loser, to stop Waiting on the Lord, to denounce your faith, sin, etc.
Arm yourself against discouragement.
Discouragement cannot but come. Even secular people feel discouraged how much more Christians who walk by faith. However, we can prepare ourselves against its onslaught.
This we do with fasting, prayer, the word of God, teachings and preaching of Christians, exhortations, spiritual songs etc. I went on the Internet, and read a few posts. God had already prepared the posts to calm me down, he used the writers to tell me what was going on, and I calmed down.
Don’t give in to fear.
Fear can precede discouragement. Elijah was afraid when he heard Jezebel’s threat and fear gave in to depression.
Discouragement can come when least expected.
Anybody can be used to discourage you
Satan can use the least expected people to discourage you. This may be those you love or even strangers. One time my friend said the most hurtful thing to me, and it almost made me depressed but I recognized it for what it was and had to shake it off.
Talk to somebody .
God can use anybody to encourage us to keep going and not give up. Believe me, if those thoughts had persisted, you may have gotten an email in your box. Yes! You reading this. You are my friend aren’t you??
Finally, Discouragement comes when Satan is afraid and breakthrough is near.