INTRO: Summary, happy ending, read passage, prayer
From high to low: Elijah, Jesus, Moses, Jonah, Peter, APP:
How we know Elijah is depressed: (1)Fear (2) Running (3) Seclusion (4) Take my life
Why: some hints: (1)Disappointment: nothing changed (2)Fear: Life threatened (3)Sin: guilt he faces (4)Feels alone
APP: Do you relate with Elijah? ILL: idol of ministry success, anxiety: security, sin, push everyone away: feel alone
God comes; God enters into our situation
God comes with Physical Comfort (5-8)
IM: Angel: fear not, good tidings, talk, repent? APP: Not like us: point to spiritual: lack of faith, checklist
ILL: JD Greear
God comes with Psychological Comfort
IM: “What are you doing here Elijah?” APP: Questions in life: allow us to answer, hear our theology.
God Comes with Spiritual Comfort
IM: God comforts: we tend to overemphasize one: physical: take a pill, moral: lack of faith, psychological: can’t judge, talk, express: worldview that limits: really doesn’t solve real problems.
: Jesus: grace and truth;
God Comes with a Still Small Voice
IM: Mt. Horeb: Sinai, Moses: I want to know you. APP: what does God send us?
God comes: Angel of the Lord: nearness, hurricane, earthquake, fire: message: not: God is never these things
Elijah’s problem: (1) Issue of Sin: Elijah limits God inside the box of Elijah’s plan; ILL: My ministry, APP:
(2)Issue of Grace: Elijah thinks he is alone:
Still small voice: (1) Grace: the rock is torn; (2) Don’t look to the spectacular: superstitous, : rich man; , : Mount of Transfiguration: He is the rock
You will face depression: things on the surface: external things that seem to be the source
Ask yourself these questions?
Are you taking care of yourself: physically, psychologically, spiritually?
Are you putting God in a box?
Are you believing the gospel?
Job will tell you that. Job will tell you that, Job will tell you God will let you speak, God will let you complain, and he won’t interrupt you, he’ll let you talk all the way from chapter 3 to chapter 37, but then God will speak. God will speak in chapter 38, 39, 40, 41: and Job will respond: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; what I was talking about: I didn’t really know what I was talking about: I repent in dust and ashes.” We ought to be real with God, and we know we are not being real with God when we cannot be real with each other in the church. Week by week we put on our church clothes, our church smile, and we walk in pretending we have not doubts, we have no discouragement, we have no depressions. We ought to be real. One pastor once said the best thing that could happen to Christians today is all of our sins be broadcast on the 5 o’clock news so that we would stop judging each other, being critical of each other, and just be real with each other. Cry out to God and be real in your relationship, cry out to the church be real in your relationship.
For some reason we think depression and Christianity cannot coexist together. There cannot be depression and the work of Christ. What a lie we have welcomed, depression has been rightly called the common cold of mental illness. We think we must ignore it, but, God has used some of the most depressed saints for his most mighty works. You know, perhaps of Samuel Logan Brengle: teacher, preacher, commissioner of the Salvation Army: greatly used by God, but also greatly struggled with depression. You know of all the work of John Wesley: do you the battles of his marriage, the battles of depression. You know of Martin Luther King Jr.: you know of his dream speech, but do you know of his reoccurring depression. You know of the preacher of all preachers: Charles Spurgeoun: but do you know they would often have to assist him out of his study, he had so much anxiety would regurgitate and vomit, fighting Satan to get him to the pulpit, they would have to physically assist him to the pulpit to preach, and what a mistake Satan made letting him get to the pulpit to preach: he suffered with great depression for the majority of his life. God used Moses, yet Moses wanted to die. Through a series of conversations: Moses says God these are your people, God says no they’re your people, Moses says no they’re you’re people, God: no they’re people, no they’re your people: God says: no they’re your people. Moses says: oh just let me die. And then Elijah who experience the mighty victory on Mt. Carmel: found himself in depression and anxiety immediately after and under the broom tree said to God: God just take my life, let me die. He didn’t really want to die, for if he did he would not have to go past Jezreel he could just go straight to Jezebel: she’d be happy to fulfill his wish. But, in his depression: God still used him. Jesus prior to his crucifixion comes before his disciples in : my soul is very sorrowful. Paul in : “8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” Sometimes if we can just get where we need to be: in a moment of worship: God will use us. If you can just make it to the pulpit, if you can just make it to church, if you can just make it to the classroom, if you can just make it to work, if you can just make it to the family reunion, if you can just make it out: God will make it work.
God is not so interested in making us strong; he is interested in making us weak so we can find that our strength can only be in him.