Summary: Bad days are going to come into our lives, but they don’t have to overcome us. The story of Elijah gives us some principles to help us when the bad days come.
SO YOU HAD A BAD DAY
BIBLE CHARACTERS: Who went through pain and suffering:
• Job, Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Esther, Jeremiah, Paul – basically all of them! Even Jesus experienced great suffering and pain.
• “Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can't find a foothold to stand on. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched and dry. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” (King David, Ps. 69:1-3, NLT).
• How many of you can relate to that?
• God never promised us a life free from pain – in fact, the opposite is true: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV).
THE BIG IDEA: Bad days are going to come into our lives, but they don’t have to overcome us. The story of Elijah gives us some principles to help us when the bad days come.
THE BIBLE STORY:
“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:1-4, NKJV).
• Look at what happened to this mighty man of God, right after his major victory:
o Fear: “Elijah ran for his life.” Loneliness: “He went into the wilderness.”
o Depression and discouragement: “Lord, take my life.”
• How many of you agree Elijah was having a very bad day?
1. REST AND BE REFRESHED:
“Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. So he arose, and ate and drank and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:5-8).
• The first thing the Lord addressed with Elijah is his physical well-being.
• One of the best things we can do when we’re going through a challenging season is to make sure we get enough rest and take care of our physical bodies.
• TESTIMONY: For the past few months, working 70-80 hours a week, overwhelmed and stressed out. When I took a day off, I experienced amazing serenity and refreshing!
• “Jesus said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” (Mark 6:31).
• Sometimes our being overwhelmed and stressed out is just because we need a day off.
APPLICATION: HOW TO BE REFRESHED:
• Make sure you maintain a Sabbath – a regular day of rest. I know I need this!
• Get enough sleep and eat properly.
• QUOTE: “Each of us has an internal emotional reservoir. On the topside there’s an input, and on the bottom, a drain. Certain activities will drain you more than fill you, and others will fill you more than drain you. Some tasks will contribute to you and others will take from you. When I speak and teach, it fills my tank. When I counsel, it drains my tank.” (Wayne Cordeiro, Leading on Empty).
o Things that refresh me: Reading, alone time, family time, music, preaching
o Activities that drain me: Excessive counselling, big crowds
2. RECONNECT WITH THE LORD:
“9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 So he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." 11 Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:9-12, NKJV).