Summary: How to recover from discouragement, despair, or feeling depressed, in a Biblical manner. (This uses some video clips - email me if you would like)
Lemons or Lemonade
1 King 19:1-18
(For the accompanying powerpoint - http://www.hueytownbaptist.com/pastorspage/sermondownloads.html)
> (video of Joe verses the volcano – Pt 1)
> Have you ever felt like Joe? The questions you ask would be: what’s the use? What’s next? Or how did I get here? Candidly, most of us have at one time or another felt just like Joe. And what’s more, we wanted help we got to that place. Truthfully, most of us have been in those situations when we feel like life has given us a lemon. And for many of us, we have done our best to make lemonade. Yet, we don’t really care to live our lives in a lemon orchard
> The previous question begs us to ask a follow-up, “Does the Bible ever speak to this type of situation?” The truth is, it does. In fact, several characters in the Bible felt this very way. I think of Peter, after the denial of Christ. He went out & cried profusely. I can only imagine how bad Thomas felt when he demonstrated a tremendous lack of faith. Undoubtedly, Mary & Martha would be the New Testament poster girls for this. Remember, they sent word that their brother was dying. The message was, “come quickly.” Jesus tarried and Lazarus died. When Jesus did arrive Lazarus had been dead for over three days. The sister’s response to Jesus is coming was, “if only you had been here, you could have saved him.” Isn’t it interesting the similarities between the sisters and us? They and we seem to be able to trust Jesus to heal their brother, but not to raise him from the dead. We trust Jesus for the little things like healing, but not for the big things like "giving back life."
> While Mary and Martha maintain the title of poster girls in the New Testament, apparently it would be Elijah who would be the poster boy of the Old Testament. Turn with me now to 1 Kings 19. Before we read this passage of scripture, let me give us a little background.
> From our history we know that the country of Israel was divided into two kingdoms for a period of time. The southern country was Judah and the northern country was Israel. During these days Israel had trouble with all her Kings. It seems that everything contained this assessment, “he did evil in the sight of the Lord.” This is true for every King except King Ahab. About this king it was written, “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight MORE than all who were before him.” So Ahab is noted for his evil ways. Then he compounds his sin but marrying a wicked woman. A woman by the name of Jezebel. Under their leadership the country continually moved away from God & toward the Baals (other cultic practices). Because of the wickedness in the country, God called Elijah. He predicted a severe drought & then left the country. During that time He was gone that drought came, the prophets of God who remained in Israel were put to death while & Ahab & Jezzie sought to find this prophet. The Bible teaches that after a long time, God told Elijah to return & present himself to the King. Through a series of events Elijah, 450 prophets of Baal, 400 prophets of Asherah, & Ahab meet on Mount Carmel for a showdown.
> It is at this meeting that Elijah gives those stirring words, “how long will you hesitate between two opinions? If he Yahweh is God, followed him. But if Baal, follow him.” Most of us know of this showdown. The false prophets prepared their sacrifice, placed it on the altar, and called on their god two accept their sacrifice by fire. Admittedly, Elijah is seemingly less than Christian about this. He literally makes fun of these prophets as they spend the day calling on their god. These guys shout, holler, cut themselves, and use every other trick they could, with no success, the Bible says no one heard & no one responded.
> After that, Elijah prepared his own sacrifice, poured water over it, gets down his knee, prayed a simple prayer and the God of Heaven responded. Scriptures record the fire fell. The water and the sacrifice were consumed, and what resulted was the death of the false prophets. This is where the story truly gets interesting.
> Let’s read verses one through eighteen. (READ) Now before we’re too hard on Elijah consider this, how many times do we do exactly like Elijah did? Things seem to go badly and we run to the backside of nowhere (spiritually) and we say, “Lord, just let me die”. Now, our particular mode of saying this might not be let me die. It may be seen more in our activities, actions and attitude. Quite likely, particularly for men, when we are down like Elijah we stay away from the very group of people with whom we should be embracing. The Church people.