Published | May 25, 2021
BLOG CATEGORY: Mental Health

Photo: Flowers in our garden

Regardless of your life situation, there are reasons to rejoice! In my last devotional, I acknowledged that many of us can get depressed by various experiences in our life journey. The really good news is that God reveals through the details of the prophet Elijah’s life how we can rejoice daily—even in circumstances where we may feel depressed. In difficult times, we, like Elijah, may magnify in our minds Satan’s power and our personal circumstances while diminishing God’s power. When this occurs, we easily succumb to discouragement and to feelings of depression. We can learn much from Elijah’s experience:

  1. Reasons for Elijah’s depression: First, Elijah’s work exhausted him. He passionately served and represented God, working in defiance to the evil King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel. He strained mightily in encouraging the whole nation to return to the Lord. Then, he challenged and opposed over 450 prophets of the pagan god Baal and demonstrated God’s mighty power by calling down fire from heaven. The pagan prophets were killed, and Jezebel was furious. Secondly, Jezebel’s words stressed him. Instead of the expected peace after this awesome victory, Elijah faced a new threat – from Jezebel! Exhaustion, stress and perhaps continued opposition in our work within a culture that works against God can initiate depression. Thirdly, his perspective undermined him. Feeling weary, isolated and weak, Elijah temporarily saw a strong enemy but an absent God. Beware of fixating on your opposition and thinking that God is not with you. Isolation weakens you but union with God strengthens you. Fix your focus on God, His Power and His infallible unchanging Word.

2. Results of his depression: Once Elijah focused on Jezebel’s threats, he lost sight of God in his mind. So, thoughts, feelings of isolation and uselessness in God’s greater cause weakened him to the point of giving up. The Hebrew word for Elijah’s response in 1 Kings 19:3 can be translated “to see “or “to fear”. So, it means that Elijah saw from his own human weakened perspective. This led to his mind being seized with crippling fear! It was fear rather than faith. He wanted to die (v.4). If you respond this way, confess your sin of unbelief, trust God fully and focus on knowing that you can do by faith all things through Jesus Christ who is your strength (Philippians 4:13).

3. Release from his depression: First, Elijah received physical therapy or refreshment. God knew that Elijah needed a physical reset. “Refresh” is to re-set. I remind Christians that your body is the house of your mind and spirit and home of the Holy Spirit. It needs recharging (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). So, Elijah had 2 long sleeps and 2 meals from God under a broom tree. Secondly, Elijah received spiritual therapy. He learned to stop, focus on listening to the gentle quiet whisper of God’s voice to him—quelling the noise of defeat and discouragement (1 Kings 19:12). Thirdly Elijah received what Darrel Johnson calls “occupational therapy”. God gave him a new assignment, a new mission (1 Kings 19:15-16).

  • Next Steps:

Review the 3 reasons for Elijah’s release from his depression. Trust God to receive these as reasons for you to rejoice in Him today.

  • Daily listen carefully and quietly for God’s voice to you as you study and meditate on his word. God’s word is fresh, revitalizing and “…new every morning!” (Lamentations 3:23)
  • Be prayerfully alert to see what new assignment God has for you today. Rejoice!

Related Posts

Please leave a comment.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *