Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Overcoming Loneliness & Depression

     Elijah, a man of God and also a prophet calls the people of Israel to Mount Carmel to prove who is the true God.  The people of Israel have been overtaken by idol worship.  Jezebel the queen, has introduced and overtaken the Israelite's with Baal worship.  There are 450 prophets of Baal who met Elijah at Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18.  The challenge is to build an altar to each God and then pray to each to send fire down from heaven and consume the offering.  The prophets of Baal waste no time preparing the altar and from morning till noon they cried out to Baal, but there was no answer (1Kings 18:26).  At noon Elijah mocked them as told them to cry louder or suggested Baal was sleeping.  They tried all the more but nothing was happening.  Elijah then called upon Jehovah God and everything was consumed at the altar, even the water that Elijah poured everywhere.  This proved the people's faith once again in the one true God.
    Elijah then executed all of the false prophets at the Brook Kishon. Once Jezebel found out that her prophets of Baal were executed she sent a messenger to Elijah telling him that she was going to kill him by tomorrow (1 Kings 19:2).  Elijah runs away, as far as to a cave at Mount Horeb.  You can imagine how he feels at this time.  He has just had a victory in winning back the people to God and now his life is being sought after.  He finds himself by himself, in a cave, probably very depressed, lonely, and scared.  In 1 Kings 19:13 God ask, "Why are you here?"  Elijah responds saying, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts, because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword.  I alone am left;  and they seek to take my life."  You can see by Elijah's response his brokenness.  Can we feel this way sometimes? Have you ever had a depressed moment or time in your life and you feel that you are the only one dealing with the issue at hand?  Let us learn a lesson from Elijah and what God's response is to this.
    God replies to Elijah and tells him that He has a purpose for him.  God has work for Elijah to do.  1 Kings 19:15 tells us that God had the job for Elijah to anoint kings and prophets. Elijah's work was not done.  God told him that there was work to be done!   When we find ourselves in a pit of depression, we need to remember that there is work that God has for us to do.  We need to fulfill our purpose.
    God also told Elijah that he was not alone!  When we are in this state, we feel that we are the only one facing the problem at hand.  In this case Elijah felt as if he were the only person trying to do the right thing.  God reassures him that he was not alone.  1 Kings 19:18, "Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose kneed have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."  A good reminder everyone that we are never alone.  We may feel that way, but the truth of the matter is that we are not alone.      Here is what every person needs to do and know when dealing with thoughts of depression or loneliness.
1. We are called to be a light in a dark world around us.  (Be a friend to others; a listening ear, ore just be there for people)
2. Remind ourselves and others that we have a purpose. There is work to do in the kingdom of God.
3. Remind ourselves and others that we are not alone.  There are others who have, who are, and who will go through the same thing for years.  Many have been successful in overcoming.  Remember God will always be there for us.
                                                         You Can Do It - Let God Help!

May this day bring you many blessings as you serve the one who made you!