Yesterday, during my personal Bible reading, I read 1 Kings 19. This is the passage just after Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal. He’s just won a fantastic victory in the Lord. Jezebel soon after says that she is out to kill him and he becomes afraid and runs away. He encounters God, telling Him,
“I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away” ~ 1 Kings 19:10 ESV
I was struck by how far he fell into emotional despair after such a great victory through the Lord. It seems as though he went from fearless prophet to despairing victim. The Lord had taken him out of his comfort zone and into an intense battle, during which he remained steadfast because he trusted and focused on God. Afterward, however, he looked around and realized what had just happened. He thought about what he’d done and what the repercussions might be and became afraid.
Realizing this, I thought also of Peter going out on the water. He walked on it as long as he focused on Jesus but as soon as he began to look around, he began to sink. I have found in my own life that God can call me somewhere and I will be excited about it before and in the beginning. But then, as I start to process and look around at what’s happening and what I’m doing, it starts to not make sense to my little pea-brain. Forget that God has asked this of me, I just can’t see how it’s going to work! So I lose heart and become discouraged.
Both Elijah and Peter trusted God in the initial call and were faithful for a time. But as soon as they looked around and started to try and figure it out themselves, instead of trusting God and what He had said, they became afraid and unbelieving. Elijah thought that there were no others when in fact God had preserved 7,000 other faithful Israelites. Peter thought he would drown even though Jesus was right there.
Don’t become distracted by your circumstances or the deep water into which God has called you to swim. Remain focused on Him and His faithfulness and goodness. He kept Elijah alive when the leaders of a nation were seeking his life; He can certainly help us. He will hold you up even in the most hopeless of circumstances.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV
“…If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:11b-13 ESV