We’re Not Done Yet
Read 1 Kings Chapter 19
1Ki 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
We all get discouraged. It should encourage us to know that even someone as Godly as Elijah had his moments of despair. In this passage, he had had enough. He wanted to just die and go on into eternity. I have had those kinds of thoughts, and I bet you have as well. This life can get extremely tough, to a point when we don’t believe we can carry on. I am much further along in years than any of you are, and I can tell you that I am tired of this life. But God has a purpose for every additional day He leaves us on this earth.
You may feel at times that you have no purpose, no reason to continue living in this evil world. Or maybe, you have felt that way because you didn’t think you could fight this SSA battle any more. Perhaps that feeling came over you because you believed that you couldn’t possibly live any better life than you already have lived. That is understandable. No matter what reasons you and I have had for our own measure of resignation from life, we must find a way to carry on. God is not through with us yet. If He were, we would not have to pray, “Lord, take me home now.”
Look at what Elijah said. “I am no better than my ancestors.” His ancestors had abandoned worship of God and had fallen under the spell of the idols of mankind. They had disobeyed God so badly that they had been exiled to foreign lands, bound in servitude to foreigners. They had killed the prophets of God. Yet, Elijah said he was just as bad as any of them. Of course, that was not true. But the weight of his own sins, his lack of sinless perfection, weighed him down to a point where he just wanted to die.
The feelings we have, which bring us to this point, are just as incorrect as were Elijah’s feelings. There is never a situation so bad that should cause us to want to die. In Elijah’s case, an angel came along to rescue him. In our case, that may or may not happen. But for sure there are people we know who would gladly come to our rescue if we would just be honest with them about how we are feeling. Elijah made his thoughts known to God. That’s the best and first place for any of us to go. But we must do more. We must reach out to our trusted friends, and allow them to bring us back into reality.
- As said before, God isn’t through with us. If He were, He would take us. We would not be given another day.
- The reason for our despair is never as awful as we think it is. Never!! We all have friends and loved ones who know that we have a valuable place in their hearts. Let them talk to us. We must tell them everything we are thinking. If we do not, they have no opportunity to encourage us.
- Perhaps the most important thing for us to remember – when our friends encourage us, we must listen to them. It does no good to just argue with their thoughts. We have to get beyond our pity party and truly listen to them. At the moment we are in the throes of our troubles, our reasoning power is nil. We have none; therefore, we must accept what we hear.
Almost every SSA man I have spoken to has considered suicide at some time in their lives. That is a terrible waste of time. We all have value to the kingdom of God. There is a purpose for our lives, and we must not leave this earth until we have fulfilled that purpose. Someone will suffer if we leave too soon. The only thing that would accomplish is that our enemy will have won a victory. We can’t let that happen.
Prayer: Lord, pour Your love and wisdom into the hearts of all of us who are tired, despairing, depressed, and cannot see any reason for living. Show us Your purpose and will for our lives. Help us to trust You, knowing that You love us and that You still have work for us to do. Do not let our enemy keep us believing his lies.