We see our own selves in the thoughts, words and actions of Adam and Eve for their sin serves as a template or model of all sin.
As we approach the feast of Christmas and we look across the world we might be tempted to see few if any reasons for optimism.
Sorry this is late today. VBS at church this morning.
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 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.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. (1 Kings 19:1-5a)
All of us would admit that, from time to time, we become discouraged. We become so overwhelmed by care, problems and suffering that we wonder whether or not we can go on. For many of us, this can easily lead to despair and depression. The prophet Elijah became depressed following his victory on Mount Carmel. He outran the chariot of King Ahab in an intense rain storm. He ran with the expectation of entering into the capital in triumph, with the people all shouting the praises of Yahweh, but he was sadly disappointed.
Elijah plunged into an abyss of despair and self-pity for he took his eyes off God and looked only at the forgot that he was protected under the power of God. He saw only his vulnerability. In addition he had expected total victory and complete revival. He was disappointed. The nation had not repented or returned to Yahweh. He felt that all his work accomplished nothing. His mission had failed.
We often feel that things have not gone our way. We think things and life in general should be better or easier than it is. Friends and family desert us. What we do seems to have little or no effect. This can depress us. Depression is evil. Most people, including Christians, do not like to talk about. We don’t like to admit to weakness, to having negative feelings. We try to make it simple to resolve by labeling it as sin or a sickness, but it defies our neat little categories. Depression is much more complicated than that. As with Elijah, sometimes physical factors such as exhaustion and isolation can bring it on.
We need spiritual nourishment. We need to spend time feeding on the wisdom of God in His Word, by His Spirit; we need to spend time in fellowship with God in prayer, and we need to spend time with other believers as well. If we isolate ourselves we will feel as alone and friendless as Elijah. We need the encouragement of fellow believers. We need the fellowship and guidance of the Church.