When Feelings Pull Us Underneath

Time flies Swiftly

Times like this, a feeling of loneliness in a crowded place, then I asked my self, How can someone be lonely in a midst of people?. Being Lonely and Alone is quite a different thing. You become lonely when you don not have someone or somebody to be with, while you can be alone even people surrounds you but no one else is being with you.

I knew I am not alone feeling alone, A lot people around the world right now feels the same way. Depressed, Sad, and feels unworthy. Even Prophet Elijah who is a man in doing God’s will experienced depression in His ministry during the reign of King Ahab in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. When He encountered the Prophets and worshipers of Baal. (1 Kings 18) and I, even I only, am left; (1 Kings 19:10)

First, let it be noted that Christians—even godly Christians—can be depressed, and even suicidal. In our text, we see Elijah, a man mightily used of God on Mount Carmel (and before), suddenly fearful, depressed, and suicidal. I have heard of a number of highly respected preachers (past and present) who suffered from depression. In the case of Elijah and other saints, depression is certainly not commendable, but it is at least understandable. Notice how quickly and unexpectedly it comes. This man of great faith and courage (on Mount Carmel) suddenly becomes fearful and runs for his life. How quickly, and how easily, we fall. As Paul put it so well, we ought to let the failures of the saints of old be a warning to us:

(1 Corinthians 10:11-13) “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Second, we should be reminded that success is not the norm for a prophet or for a New Testament saint. All too often today, people seem to have a sense of entitlement. Some folks think they have a right to a good job, with a great salary and benefits, whether or not they work hard. The younger generation simply assumes that they should enjoy “the good life,” without realizing where it comes from. All too many Christians have even greater expectations, assuming that God has promised them the blessings of heaven here and now. They feel entitled to health, wealth, and happiness. No wonder the preachers who make such promises have such a large following. I would remind you, however, that any prophet who expected to be successful would have had to forget or to forsake a lot of biblical history.

Third, when we disobey God, we are often ingenious at making up excuses for our actions which sound pious. Some years ago, the elders of a certain church made a decision which they communicated to the church as a whole. One of the elders made the announcement, “What is the biblical principle on which this decision was based?” The elder was honest enough to say, “We have based our decision on the principle of, ‘O ye of little faith.’ How seldom I have heard someone say something like, “I bought this car, which is way above my means, because I decided to indulge my flesh.” We try to sanctify our sin by giving it a pious label. We say, “When I saw this new red convertible, the Lord just told me this was the car I should buy.” Or, even more piously, we can say, “I bought this new boat for my family. I thought we weren’t spending enough quality time together.” I’m not against buying a new car or a boat, but I am opposed to our efforts to make something seem pious which isn’t necessarily so.

It has finally occurred to me that twice God asked Elijah the same question, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” We know the answer, because it is right there in our text. All Elijah had to say was, “Because I was afraid of Jezebel.” That was the truth of it, but Elijah had to make it sound more pious. And so he tells God how spiritual he has been and how wicked the Israelites have been. He’s giving up because the people are just too pagan for him. Watch out for pious excuses for sin.

Fourth, God’s work will never fail, even when His servants do. Thank God that His work does not depend upon our faithfulness, but upon His. In our worship time this Sunday, we focused on the unfailing love of God. What a wonderful truth that is. God’s love never fails, but we often do. God’s love never fails, even when we fail. What a marvelous example of the grace of God this whole matter has been. God has been gracious to the nation Israel, first in bringing them to repentance, and then in giving rain. God has been (and will continue to be) gracious to Ahab, even though he is “chief of sinners,” so far as Israel’s kings are concerned. And God has been incredibly gracious to Elijah, when we may have been inclined to simply write him off and go on. Elijah wanted to go out in sorrow and shame—by suicide. How much better was God’s exit for Elijah—in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11-12)! The man who was caught up in the “spectacular” was “caught up” in a most spectacular way.

Fifth, Elijah is all too much like the people he wants God to give up on. Paul has informed us in Romans 11:1-4 that Elijah was not petitioning God on behalf of Israel, but against them. He seems fed up with the nation, because they have not fully repented. He seems almost angry with God for being so gracious to undeserving sinners. And yet Elijah is not repentant himself. He, like Jonah, reluctantly accepts God’s refusal to put him to death, and he does as he is commanded (at least in part), but he does not do so wholeheartedly. Elijah seems hard-hearted and stiff-necked, not unlike the Israelites.

I have observed a principle in our text which I have also seen in effect today. It goes something like this: WE WILL OFTEN BE TEMPTED WITH THOSE SINS THAT WE MOST LOUDLY PROTEST AND DETEST.

I have observed marriages in which one spouse is unfaithful to the other. The “faithful” spouse is hurt and often angry. I usually warn the offended party to be careful about becoming too self-righteous. I tell them that it is very likely they will be tempted in the same area in their life. Elijah seems to detest Israel’s lack of repentance and the vacillation of the Israelites and their king. And yet look at how inconsistent Elijah is in his life and ministry.

Sixth, if we fail to learn the lessons God is teaching us by rejecting His reproofs and refusing to repent, He may very well set us aside so far as our ministry is concerned. When Elijah failed by fear and flight, God graciously met him in his darkest hour. He met his physical needs and addressed his spiritual needs as well. But when confronted with his sin, Elijah did not repent. Finally, God set Elijah aside. He did not allow him to die as he had requested, but he did instruct him to appoint his own replacements. What a sad thing it is to see a child of God set aside because of an unrepentant heart. God does not need us, although we desperately need Him. He can easily set us aside and can quickly replace us, and sometimes by those we would consider totally inadequate for the task (folks like Hazael and Jehu).

Seventh, we are often in need of going back to our beginnings. Elijah was not doing well at all, physically or spiritually. God ministered to Elijah’s physical needs with bread and water. But He ministered to Elijah’s spiritual need by taking him to Mount Sinai. The ministry of the Old Testament prophets was based upon the Old Testament law. Elijah was ministering to Israel, and so God takes him back to Israel’s beginnings at Mount Sinai, when He gave His people the law. Elijah did not respond as he should have, but let us not allow that to obscure the fact that God sought to minister to him by taking him back to his “roots.”

The same is true for the Christian today. Our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper (or Communion) as a weekly event (at least that was the way it was done in the New Testament), so that week after week we would be taken back to our roots. The cross of Jesus Christ is the basis for our salvation and eternal life. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died in our place, bearing the penalty for our sins, so that we might be forgiven for our sins and spend eternity with Him. This is not just a truth which we acknowledge at the time of our conversion—though we must acknowledge it to be saved. This is a truth which should govern our lives. We should cease sinning and seek to live righteously, because we died to sin in Christ and were raised to new life in Him (Romans 6). If we suffer unjustly, we should do so innocently and silently, because this is how our Savior suffered for us, so that we might be saved (1 Peter 2). It all goes back to the cross, and so week after week, we need to go back to our beginnings, our roots, by remembering the sacrificial death of our Lord.

I have been speaking of going back to the cross, for I have been assuming that I am speaking to Christians. But I know that it is entirely possible that one of my readers is not a Christian. It is possible that you have never yet gone to the cross, for the forgiveness of your sins. Elijah has made some very serious mistakes in our text, but Elijah knew God. And because of this, God graciously worked in his life to bring him back to repentance and intimacy with Himself. Every unbeliever is not necessarily a Jezebel, who boldly and loudly blasphemes God. You may be like the Israelites of old who simply failed to declare their allegiance, who wavered between trusting in God and serving a false god. If you have never declared your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, there is no better time than now.


Disclaimer: Some of the explanation are not mine but from the researched commentaries.

-DaisukeYuuki

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