Conquering Depression & Discouragement
1 Kings 19:1-4
(Message given to the Ambassadors’ Dept. in August of 2008 as part of our “More than Conquerors” Series)
Introduction: CBS News anchor Dan Rather admits he was always fascinated by the sport of boxing, even though he was never good at it. “In boxing you’re on your own; there’s no place to hide,” he says. “At the end of the match only one boxer has his hand up. That’s it. He has no one to credit or to blame except himself.” Dan Rather, who boxed in high school, says his coach’s greatest goal was to teach his boxers that they absolutely, positively, without question, had to be “get up” fighters. “If you’re in a ring just once in your life-completely on your own-and you get knocked down but you get back up again, it’s a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Your sense of achievement is distinct and unique. “Get Up boxers” – In life, you may have been knocked down, but you can still get back up. Victors are not made from those who never fell but from those who got back up every time they fell.
Some make failure & discouragement final, while others keep on trying til they succeed!
Here in this passage, we find Elijah “knocked down” under the Juniper Tree.
Elijah the Tishbite was a great man of God! A Man of Prayer, a man of Influence. Prayed that it would not rain for 3 years and 6mos. Great experiences at Brook Cherith, Widow woman at Zarephath, the oil and meal, the widow’s son.
We find this great man discouraged and seeking his life to end. One of the two men in the Bible (Enoch) who did not tasted death and yet he requested for himself to die.
I. Circumstances Behind his Discouragement.
A. It was after a great victory – Ch. 18 talks about the great Mt. Carmel experience.
Showdown with the 450 prophets of Baal.
Elijah prayed a 63-word prayer (18:36)
v38 the Fire of the Lord fell!
Note – Oftentimes it is after those great mountain top experiences that we have great discouragements
1 Pet. 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
B. God’s Hand Was Upon Elijah – 1 Kings 18:46
Note – It doesn’t mean that if you are totally right with God, enjoying His power, that you would be immune from being discouraged.
1 Cor. 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
2 Cor. 2:11
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
II. The Causes of Discouragement
A. Intimidation – v1-3
Jezebel – Wife of Ahab who became a puppet in her hands for working all wickedness in the sight of Jehovah. 1 Kings 21:25
She threatened to kill the prophet!
The devil often uses fear and intimidation to discourage us. (fear of man, circumstances) Isa. 41:10, 2 Tim. 1:7
B. Isolation – v3b “left his servant”
He wanted to be alone. 18:22
Strength comes from God alone and certainly we need to take time with God alone! But what was happening here was he thought that he was the only one fighting this battle! Heb. 13:5
When you’re discouraged, stay in church! Keep on coming to the house of God! You’d be amazed at what God can do! You are never alone!
C. Identification – He identified himself with those who came before him. He compared himself. – v4c
He was saying here “I am a mere weak man, no better nor stronger than they who have gone before me, no more able to revolutionize the world than they.” “They” are not the goal, Jesus is the goal!
Find your security & identification in the Lord.
Not in pleasing “others” and comparing yourself to those who have gone before or with those running the race with you.
Everyone has unique God-given gifts and you must steward them well. No two servants are alike!
2 Cor. 10:12-13 – “not wise”
1 Cor. 4:2, Rom. 14:12, 2 Cor. 5:10
D. Instruction – The Lord wanted to teach Elijah something!
“God never wastes a trial, circumstance”
God prepares you, instructs you for something.
2 Kinds of Preparation: Conscious & Unconscious
1. Unconscious Preparation – you did not know that God was preparing you.
Moses – his conscious preparation was in the School of Egypt and
his unconscious preparation was in the Midian Desert for 40 years.
He was taking care of the sheep of his father in law…so he thought, but God was making the “sheep” more familiar! (Stiffnecked!)
“With God’s calling, comes His enabling.”
God educates us to:
1. Learn of His Provision – v5-6
2. Learn of Our Own Helplessness – v7b
3. Learn of His Power – v9-13
III. The Cure for Discouragement
A. Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus – not on your problems, people, circumstances.
The Problem with your problems is not the problem! The problem is that it takes your focus away from the one who has the solution!
v14 – focused on self.
Note – observation – discouraged people are self-absorbed people THEIR Problem, THEIR Hurt…
Heb. 12:2 “Look Unto Jesus…”
B. Continue Doing What God Called You To Do!
You are not the issue here or your discouragement.
Don’t Resign, RE-SIGN! – sign up again to serve God! Don’t Retire, Get REFIRED!
C. Stay Close to Spirit-Filled Christians! V18
It will encourage you that there are still people who serve the Lord out of a pure heart! When the going gets tough… talk to people who will point you to the Lord. Not analyze the Problem or even compound the problem!
Stay Close to Your Guide! Spend more time in the Word, Prayer.
Conclusion: I don’t know where you are… But I pray that the Lord spoke to your heart! Don’t Quit… The Lord is right there! His Grace is Sufficient!