We may be living in the most stressed-out generation in human history.
People are worried about everything under the sun.
Our minds are occupied with concerns about things like relationships, health, finances and more. And then you read a passage of scripture, like the one we looked at last time, where the Apostle Paul challenges us to “be anxious for nothing” and we wonder is that even possible in today’s world?
Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who struggled with anxiety. Even though he had seen the faithfulness, power and provision of God, Elijah still struggled with some personal anxiety issues. Before we get to that, let’s consider some background on Elijah’s story.
Elijah confronted wicked king Ahab about his sin. Elijah had prophesied there would be a drought that would significantly impact Ahab’s entire kingdom. Not only did the King dislike Elijah’s prophecy, but he also hated Elijah.
The king went after the prophet. He wanted Elijah dead. He sent his army to destroy Elijah. So for three years, Elijah was on the run. He was hiding out moving from one cave to another, constantly looking over his shoulder, knowing he was a marked man.
God faithfully protected and provided for Elijah. He gave him bread and meat to eat every morning, and he gave him bread and meat to eat every evening. God used ravens to bring food to Elijah, and he provided a consistent source of clean water for Elijah to drink. (See 1 Kings 17) Elijah is a colorful character. You should see his résumé. God performed many miracles through this man. He even raised a dead person back to life.
First King 18 provides an amazing description of an incredible true story that explains how Elijah confronted 450 false prophets of Baal and how he ultimately called down fire from heaven to destroy them. Whether you like drama, action, comedy or suspense, you should read your Bible. It is all in there.
What’s so amazing about Elijah’s story is the fact that he witnessed the incredible power of God in so many tangible ways, following one miracle after another, but after Ahab’s wife made a threat on his life, Eli spiraled into a deep, dark depression. It is amazing to see how anxiety consumed him. Elijah made four costly mistakes that we can personally avoid if we pay attention to his story.
We’ll begin exploring those mistakes next time.