Friday, October 14th, 2016
Suffering (Part 18)
He arose and ran for his life... and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'...
'I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for 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.'
1 Kings 19:3-4, 10 (NKJV)*
Many heroes struggle with depression. The Bible is quite graphic about it.** Pits of despair and thoughts of suicide are shown as obstacles to overcome:
Why? Because God's stars will face big challenges.
Why? To grow spiritual strength and wisdom.
Why? The enemy wants to take them down.
Why? So their destinies won't be realized.
Why? So others won't see God's greatness in them.
Why? The devil wants God's light undercover.
So he covers them with all kinds of fights, including the anguish of depression, hoping they'll quit and surrender to him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Elijah scored a big victory. By himself, he exposed and struck down hundreds of false prophets for Baal. Then hit by despair and loneliness, he decided he wanted to die.
Understand: Lows often follow highs. If you've been challenged with depression, you're in the best of God's company.** Your life matters more than you can know. Understand, too: Your worst times will pass.
So don't settle down. Push through, walk through, 'The valley of the shadow of death' (Psalm 23:4), because the Lord is right there with you. He's not thinking about leaving you, and He's got good surprises ahead.
To Be Continued...
* Elijah's victory and subsequent depression: 1 Kings 18-19: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+18-19&version=NKJV
* Reference article: The Crisis of Elijah: https://bible.org/seriespage/15-crisis-elijah-1-kings-194-14
** Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/depression-bible.html
** 7 Bible Figures Who Struggled with Depression: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/7-bible-figures-who-struggled-with-depression.html
** Previous 15-part AMTC Devotion Series on Depression: http://amtcdevotions.org/depression-part-1-the-facts
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.