Summary: There are many practical truths that we can learn from God’s Word that will help us understand and overcome the problem of discouragement.
Overcoming the Problem of Discouragement
1. The great prophet Elijah had just won a mighty victory over 450 prophets of Baal in chapter 18.
2. In chapter 19, Elijah received a death threat from Jezebel (King Ahab’s wife). She said, “In 24 hours, you’ll be dead. I’ll see to that!”
3. Elijah fled for his life into the wilderness (19:3), plopped himself under a tree, and asked the Lord to take away his life. 19:4
4. He didn’t feel like his life was worth continuing. Elijah is the picture of a discouraged man. Eventually, Elijah overcame his battle with discouragement and continued to accomplish wonderful works for God.
5. There are many practical truths that we can learn from this portion of God’s Word that will help us understand and overcome the problem of discouragement.
Three facts about discouragement
1. Good people battle discouragement. 18:46
• Elijah was a man of faith, totally committed to God. Yet, he battled it.
• It’s easy to look down on someone else is who is going through discouragement. “If they had faith, they wouldn’t be this way.”
2. Discouragement can come at the strangest times. 18:36-19:4
• Elijah’s came after a great victory. The higher up on the mountain you are, the easier it is to fall off. It can be a hard fall.
3. Discouragement can be disabling. 19:1-7
• It can get ahold of you to where you don’t feel like you can take another step. This is how Elijah was. It can put you in bed, and you can’t get out. It is a terrible thing.
Three characteristics of discouragement
1. The loss of courage - 19:3a
• Elijah just defeated a king and 450 prophets of Baal, but then he ran in fear from one mean woman.
• There are times when you feel like you cannot face another problem. Problems you would have otherwise tackled head-on, instead you run and hide from them.
2. Withdrawing from others – 19:3-4
• He left his servant and obviously didn’t want anybody around him. He wanted to be left alone.
• When loved ones withdraw, don’t take it personally. Simply realize that they may be battling discouragement. Pray and intercede for them. Don’t beat them down.
• Warning to parents: If your children or teens always want to be alone and are very withdrawn from everyone, beware. They may be battling discouragement.
3. A feeling of worthlessness – 19:4
• Have you ever heard people constantly criticizing themselves (I’m ugly, stupid, nobody likes me, etc.)?
• In Christ you have much value and worth to the Lord. You are precious to Him!
Four causes of discouragement
1. Foes – 19:1-2
• Satan can use people to discourage you. Beware of this and guard your own tongue. Proverbs 18:21
2. Fear – 19:3; cf. 2 Timothy 1:7
• Fear is of Satan, and he can use it to discourage us. Many times we fear things that will never happen.
3. Fatigue – 19:5-7