Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A change of attitude is what is needed to correct the messes associated with negativity.

TEXT: 1st Kings 18 - 19

TITLE: What to do with Negativity / Depression - Elijah

SERIES: When Life Gets Messy

TOPIC: Depression / Negativity

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, November 8, 2009


INRODUCTION: Good morning! We are in the middle of a sermon series simply called - “When Life Gets Messy” because when life gets messy…life becomes difficult!

And so far in this series, we’ve taken a look at the messes of life…those things that cause life to become difficult; hard; painful.

Mess #1 - the mess caused by stress - so important was this message of stress that we spent two weeks learning from the life of Jesus on how to handle the pressures caused by this life!

Mess #2 - the mess associated with failure. For the mess of failure we looked into the life of the apostle Peter and his fishing trip that he went on. We learned that you need to

And what is the mess that we will look at today?

It’s the mess caused by negativity! Your attitude!!! The way you think about things can create a mess of your life. Did you know that?

Negativity has been labeled in various forms - pessimistic, depressed, BUT THEY ALL STEM FROM A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK ON LIFE!

See if you remember these characters:

ILLUSTRATION: Eeyore, Grouchy Smurf, Grumpy bear, & Grumpy Dwarf.

Cartoons have personified negativity. Negativity was demonstrated and displayed by each of these four characters.

But it’s just not the cartoons. It’s real life! Do you know someone who is a negative person? How much fun is it to be around them? Maybe your work with someone who is negative. Or you live with someone who is negative? And if the answer is no to both of those questions…careful…YOU MIGHT BE THE NEGATIVE PERSON!

And what do I mean by someone who is negative? What do they act like? Well, instead of being cheerful, bright and happy…we are gloomy, dark and depressed.

I think each of us from time to time can be negative. It’s ok to have a bad day once in a while - I think each of us are entitled to that. But if negativity and depression is where you live most of your life, then perk your ears up. Today’s sermon is exactly what you need to hear.

And since we are all prone to depression and negativity,

The question is not how to avoid negativity / depression…but how to handle depression / negativity when it comes…

Today we peer into the life of Elijah. We will learn from this great mouth piece of God about negativity. And what I love about this account in Elijah’s life is that if this godly, kingdom minded person faced a period in his life that was not good, where negativity got the better of him - chances are, you will too!

Our text comes from the historically rich book of 1st Kings.


It was a roller coaster ride of good times and bad times for the nation of Israel. This God inspired book is a record of all of the earthly rulers of Israel & Judah - some good. Some bad. All along the way, God used prophets or ordained messengers to talk to God’s people and warn them when they were going astray.


Our story is about one of God’s most famous ordained messengers - Elijah. God’s people, under the guidance of King Ahab, have turned away from serving Jehovah God and have given Baal their attention, affection and service.

And Elijah was sick of it. In fact, he asks a very pointed, direct question:

1st Kings 18:21 21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

But the people said nothing.

So Elijah lays down a challenge. A challenge to determine which God is the true God. The God who is bigger, more powerful and real.

He tells the 450 prophets of this god baal to make an altar and offer a sacrifice to baal. He told them to get a bull, prepare it and lay it on the altar but do not light the altar. Baal was supposed to be the one to answer down with fire and consume the sacrifice given to him.

So for about 6 hours, the prophets danced around the altar, cutting themselves and still nothing…

So now it’s Elijah’s turn. He prepares an altar with a bull. And to top it off, he drenches the entire thing with water. 12 large jars filled with water have been dumped all over the wood, the sacrifice - there is no way any human could light it.

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