Saints & Struggles | The Prophet Elijah
Pastor Justin Miller
“God is calling us to get real, so we can get right. To get right with God, you have to get real with God.” In this message, we look at Elijah, a Bible hero, who was known for his triumph yet he struggled, much like us. Pastor Justin Miller walks us through the battle of depression and God’s victory over it. God wants to be within your struggle and He wants to speak to you where you are. Remember that God needs us to reveal our struggles so that He can heal us!
To be a Saint is to be in the struggle.
The struggle is real so we have to expect it.
1 Kings 19:1-10 New International Version
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 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.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, 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.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
Have you ever felt like Elijah?
God wants you to know that it is okay to not be okay – that is why He has given us Elijah’s story.
To be human is to be imperfect. If we expect perfection, we will always fall short.
Isaiah 53:6 New International Version
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
God expects imperfection. God has a plan for our failures.
1 John 1:8-9 New International Version
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
God is so certain that we will fail He has baked it into the plan. He knows our imperfections and our failures.
Jesus knows us much better than we know ourselves and He loves us and has a plan for us. God’s Grace is always enough.
Romans 5:8 New International Version
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We’re not okay Jesus said that’s okay, I will die for you anyway. I’m not waiting for you to become okay on your own; I’m making you okay.
That’s the Gospel. When we accept the Gospel, we are accepting and acknowledging our brokenness and accepting our brokenness allows us to accept His grace.
While it’s okay to not be okay but it’s not okay to stay that way. It’s not okay to sit in your misery and be miserable. You don’t want that and God certainly doesn’t want that for you.
So what does God do? He intervenes. He shows up. He does not let go.
God always sends help; look for it.
1 Kings 19:5-10 New International Version
5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank.
Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
God always shows up. Don’t surrender to the struggle, surrender to the spirit and have victory.
The first step to healing is revealing.
Be honest with God – always.
God is never nearer than when we need Him the most.
1 Kings 19:9-18 New International Version
The Lord Appears to Elijah
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”