Does the Christian ever get discouraged? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we do get discouraged from time to time. When we look into the Bible, we find that great men of faith suffered from this affliction. Elijah is a prime example.
Notice his experience after dealing with the false prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel:
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a juniper tree, and he requested for himself that he might die and said, ‘It is enough. No, o Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.’” – I King 19:4
Let us look at the background of this verse. Elijah was called of God for a special mission to Ahab and the Northern Kingdom. For three years, it had not rained on that nation, because of their sins. Elijah appears to Ahab and invites the prophets of Baal to Mt. Carmel to determine by a test which was the real God. The prophets of Baal were not able to do anything to the altar that Elijah built, but Elijah was able to call fire down from Heaven and consume the water and meat on the altar. They then killed all the false prophets of Baal, and Elijah had a great victory for the God of Heaven.
When Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, found out what had happened, she threatened the life of Elijah. Elijah then took off for Beersheba to escape from her. He then cries out to God to take his life. How discouraged must a person be that he would ask God to take his life? All of God’s people have been discouraged at times in their lives. We may have done something good and instead of receiving praise for it, you were rebuked by someone. You may try to do right in a wicked world, and it seems that the wicked are the ones who are blessed. It seems that, for the Christian, life is a battle.
What is the answer? It is first and foremost important that we realize that the devil is the one who brings discouragement upon us. It is one of His most important tools that he uses against Christians, because they do not realize it belongs to him. He makes right to seem as wrong and wrong to appear to be right. He is no friend of the Christian but is our adversary. He is out there to defeat you in your walk with the Lord. Just remember that when discouragement comes, it is the attack of the devil and not of the Lord.
After God had fed Elijah, he appeared to him and gave him a new commission.
“And the Lord said unto him, ‘Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus.’”
– I King 19:15
God told him to go back and engage in the battle of life once more. When we are discouraged, seek the Lord for the help and strength that we need and then, by the grace of God, get back in the battle.