Immanuel Voices
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June 19, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah Despairs (Week 4:3)


Elijah Despairs

 

1 Kings 19:9-10

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

 

Thought for Today

Catastrophize. It’s a big word for a common problem people have. It means that you think something is far worse than it actually is. When God asks Elijah what the problem is, the floodgates of worry burst open. Elijah believes that all his efforts have been in vain. All the people have forsaken their covenant with God, destroying his altars and killing his prophets. And Elijah believes he is the only one left. Despair does this to us. Every problem gets bigger than it really is. Every challenge becomes insurmountable. The facts do not support Elijah’s complaint. The people have returned to the Lord after the duel with the prophets of Baal. There are 100 more prophets who are in hiding. In Elijah’s eyes his problems have become large and God has become small. God sends Elijah out on the mountainside to show him that he is wrong. God shows his power in a mighty wind, fire and an earth quake. He shows Elijah that He is gentle and compassionate with the gentle whisper. When you find yourself catastrophizing, consider the size of your problems compared to the size of your God. Nothing breaks us out of that rut like rediscovering that our God is immense. With God all things are possible, all problems are conquerable.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, in my moments of weakness and despair help me to remember just how big You are. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

God's glory is the big news of the Bible, and my desire is that it would be all about me, but really it's all about God's glory. — Max Lucado

 

Quote of the Day

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? — T. S. Eliot



Comments

06-19-2019 at 2:43 PM
Erica Ciro
Me too Jeanette!! I was reminded this morning in another devotion that we tend to underestimate God and His Power. We ask and expect too little from Him. He wants to give us so much more!!!
06-19-2019 at 6:38 AM
Jeanette Dall
I can identify with Elijah. I have a tendency to catastrophize too.
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June 18, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah Despairs (Week 4:2)


Elijah Despairs

 

1 Kings 19:4-8

But [Elijah] went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

 

Thought for Today

I have a confession to make. Like Elijah, I struggle with self-care. I drive too hard for too long because it all has to get done. I tell myself I’m doing important things. People are counting on me. I am serving to Lord, for crying out loud! How wonderfully refreshing to discover that this is not what God wants from me. When Elijah had driven himself to utter exhaustion God does not rebuke him. God does not tell him to suck it up. God displays great compassion for His fallen prophet. After Elijah collapses in tears of self-loathing, God sends an angel with divine refreshment. The angel commands him to rise, eat and drink. Then the angel watches over him as he rests. A second time the angel nudges him awake and offers him food and drink before he continues. Traditional American values of work are at odds with God’s command to take rest seriously. As a culture we tend to bury ourselves in work with the expectation that when the work is done we will have time to rest. There are two lies hidden in that idea. The first is that the work will ever be done. We always find one more thing to do. The second is that work is supposed to come first. The very order of God’s work of creation shows that evening comes first, then morning each day. This is to say that we are to rest first and then work. When we work from a place of rest we are efficient and effective. Work is a joy! When we get it backwards we run out of steam before the work is ever done and work is a burden. God does not see rest as wasted time. It is time that prepares us for the work He has for us. Take time this summer to make rest a priority. Rest first and you will be amazed what God accomplishes through you.

 

Prayer

Lord, I confess that I need more rest in my life. Help me to set aside my fears and excuses that cause me to work to exhaustion, and find my rest in You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

God never asked us to meet life's pressures and demands on our own terms or by relying upon our own strength. Nor did He demands that we win His favor by assembling an impressive portfolio of good deeds. Instead, He invites us to enter His rest. ― Swindoll Charles

 

Quote of the Day

Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest. ― Mark Buchanan

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June 17, 2019, 9:02 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah Despairs (Week 4:1)


Elijah Despairs

 

1 Kings 19:1-3

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

 

Thought for Today

At first glance the beginning of chapter 19 is one of the most surprising passages in the Bible. Elijah has just seen God’s power on full display, sending fire from the sky to consume his offering and watching the people rise up shouting, “The Lord, He is God!” After witnessing this incredible triumph Elijah hears that Queen Jezebel is not only unimpressed, but she is again threatening his life. After seeing God’s power you would expect Elijah to laugh at her futile threats and shout, “Bring it on!” Instead, he runs away in terror. Emotions are not logical. Sometimes what we feel is contrary to the facts before us. All sorts of things play into our feelings Fatigue, expectations, lack of community and the like can leave us in a place where the facts don’t really matter. We all have breakdowns from time to time. Our friends can see we are being unreasonable, but that doesn’t change how we feel. When this happens we need to run to God. That is where Elijah is going. In his current state, we cannot feel the Lord’s presence, so he runs to the Mountain of God, the place he believes God will be present. Where do you go when you need to feel God’s nearer presence? Do you have a place. I know that God is always with us, but He also works through means, that is, places and things, in special ways, like the waters of Baptism or the sanctuary where you worship. Local your special place today. God, who is with you, can and will reveal Himself there.

 

Prayer

Lord God, I know that You are with me, but You also know that my stress and sin can make it hard to recognize Your presence. Show me the safe place You have set apart to meet with me and help me to find peace and rest there. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Purposes, plans, and achievements of men may all disappear like yon cloud upon the mountain's summit; but, like the mountain itself, the things which are of God shall stand fast for ever and ever. — Charles Spurgeon

 

Quote of the Day

He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke. ― Cormac McCarthy

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