Overcoming Discouragement

I read the account of Elijah in 1 Kings 17-19 this morning. A lot of things to take away from that passage, but the one that really spoke to me today was in chapter 19 where Elijah runs away from Jezebel and sits down under a broom tree and asks to die. But God, in his mercy sends the angel of the Lord (likely Jesus Himself) to provide food and drink to give him strength for the journey ahead.
 
Elijah then runs even further, to Mount Horeb, where he hides in a cave.When God asks him what he is doing there, he replies that he is the only one left who is faithful to God.This time in response to Elijah’s whining, God gives Elijah a task and assures Elijah that He has another 7,000 in Israel who remain faithful to Him.
 
I think we all feel like Elijah at times. We think that we’re just not equal to the task or that we’re all alone in our journey to serve God. God probably ought to hit us over the head with a 2 x 4 when we act like that, but instead He extends His mercy and then He often gives us a task, not because He needs us to do that, but because we need to know that our lives still matter to God.
 
God has certainly done that on many occasions in my life. I am so grateful that He did that 15 years ago when I was a struggling church planter and was about to get out of vocation ministry. God used an unexpected phone call from Denny Howard to lead me to Thornydale Family Church, where it is my privilege to still serve today.
 
Are you discouraged? Do you feel like you don’t really matter to God? Then look and see how He is extending His mercy to you and then get busy serving Him.

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