1 Kings Chapter 19:1-21

Dealing with Discouragement


Discouragement neutralizes optimism, assassinates hope, and vaporizes courage.”

                                     Dennis Rainey


As we come to Ch.19 of 1 Kings we find our hero Elijah in a place of great discouragement

A) Note it comes after a great Victory – Mt Carmel


B) Elijah has a total meltdown – It can happen to the best of us.


Spurgeon: Told his students “I know by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means. I have never lost my calm faith in God but at times I have been so depressed that the cable has been stretched to the limit.”    C.H. Spurgeon


C) Here Elijah appears to be a different guy! 

                                                   Rd v.1- 10


What happened to Elijah? What caused this meltdown of faith: that led to discouragement and depression that set in?    Note 5 causes


A) #1 He took his eyes off of the Lord and put them on the enemy.V.3  When he saw that Jezebel…..


B) Jezebel was a woman of Power – but Elijah w/ the Lord’s help had just defeated 450 …../ 400 Aserah

C) Elijah’s first mistake was that he focused on the enemy! – He was looking in the wrong direction


D) Israel with Goliath

1) When we focus on the enemy our tendency is to see ourselves in light of the opposition or challenge


E) By ourselves – We don’t stand a Chance!

1) That is why it is so important that we keep our eyes fixed on who is with us!  JESUS – Sufficiency


Peter walking on water: Took his eyes off of Jesus and started to look at the wind & waves

A) Became afraid: Redpath – fear is the greatest enemy of our faith


B) Elijah is scared to death – He begins to run for his life all because he was looking at the wrong thing.


C) Eyes off the Lord and on to the enemy!


Cause #2 Elijah allowed himself to be intimidated by the enemy.V.1-2  

A) Because Elijah took his eyes off the Lord – he opened the door for his heart to be influenced


B) 1 Peter 5:8 tells us the Devil walks around like a roaring lion – seeking who he may devour

1) Teeth knocked out and declawed


C) But He can roar – He can get into your head

D) That’s the fiery darts he throws –


E) The Bible declares greater is he that is in you then he that is in the World.


Interesting the Bible indicates that when we finally see Satan – This is the one who troubled the nations? 

A) Of Course we are going to be seeing him when we are with Jesus – seeing him in light of Jesus


B) That is the perspective that we NEED to have NOW!


Cause #3 Elijah ran when he should have stood.

A) There is a time to flee – Joseph did the right thing when he ran from Potiphars wife { Flee …..lust!


B) There is a time to Flee – but there is also a time to stand!

1) Flee in the face of temptation.

2) Stand in the face of Attack. 


C) Temptation doesn’t try to battle it – don’t think you’re strong enough – get out of there!


D) But when it comes to attack we are called to stand! 


Eph 6:10-14

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil. ….. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth


Get the idea the Lord wants us to stand in the mist of Battle. –

A) Position of Victory – position of Strength not a position of weakness –


B) Elijah was running when he should have been standing.


C) He runs to Beersheba which was the southern limit of Judah about 90 miles from his starting point in Jezreel.


D) Imagine – 90 mile run – that is called fear

1) He drops his servant off in Beersheba and then goes another days journey about 15 miles into the desert


Cause # 4 Elijah is exhausted!

A) It has been an intense several years. He is physically and spiritually wiped out.


B) Fatigue factor – Driving 100mph burn more fuel than when driving 40mph

1) So too in ministry: Going 100mph – More of a chance to burn out –


C) Elijah has been charging hard!


Elijah has stepped out and obeyed God. He has gotten into the battle.

A)Right in the face of Israel’s most wicked king ever.


B) He has been in the heat of intense spiritual battle. He’s been a hunted man now for years.

1) He has been through pruning and melting down, having to trust God literally for his daily bread.


C) Then he confronted the demonic stronghold that was choking the nation and wiped out all the polluted prophets of Baal and Ashteroth.


D) He has been involved in some heavy stuff.


Now he was probably thinking it is finally over the rain is coming - 

A) Along with the rain comes a threat from the wicked QUEEN.

B) her threat goes right into his heart and sticks there like a flaming arrow.


C) And Elijah goes on the run, filled with fear, filled with feelings of worthlessness.

1)  (I’m no better than my fathers: I haven’t done anything to bring the nation away from idolatry and back to God).


D) Filled with despair: Just kill me Lord, I don’t want to live any more.


E) Tired don’t see things clearly: Mole hills turn into MTS

1) Trivial things can huge things

2) Jezebel’s become Giants


It’s amazing how in the scriptures we see several of God’s servants came to this place.

A) Moses at one point became so discouraged that he asked God to take his life.


B) Jonah after a great revival in Nineveh. /

Worm ate his tree bringing shade!

1) Paul the Apostle in:  2 Corinthians 1:8

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.


Those who have studied the life of Spurgeon have come to the same conclusion –

A) He suffered the most from depression when he was facing times of ministry Burnout


B)  Times when he needed a rest and yet the demands and schedule were so great that – no rest could be found


C) Something for all of us who are involved in serving God to be aware of

1) You are the most vulnerable to this kind of attack when you are TIRED!


D) Sometimes U just need to rest physically

1) Sabbath – one day


E) Others need to rest emotionally – Come to me all who are weary heavy laden –and rest


F) Some need to Rest Spiritually: Rest in the finished work of Christ – Rest


Elijah is physically and spiritually wiped out.

And in this condition he is extremely vulnerable to LIES


Cause #5 He believed a lie v.10

A) Elijah thinks he alone is standing for God

He is alone by himself


B) Satan loves to get us focused on a lie!

C) Result for Elijah the ultimate deception the best thing for him would be to die


My Ordeal in Oregon.

A) Satan got me focused on my inadequacies – always vulnerable to depression


B) Not called to be a Senior Pastor

1) Not called to ministry – 10yrs a lie

2) Married the wrong person


C) Just end it all – Heavy intense time.

1) Satan’s lies are progressive like that – Kill to rob and to destroy


D) My Problem – I forgot that I was in a battle

1) Lord teach me to fight!



What did God do to help his prophet?

#1 He takes care of his physical needs v.5-7


A) God sends an Angel to monitor Elijah’s sleep and to make sure he is well fed.


V.7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."

A) What journey? Elijah was running in fear, running away, seeking to hide, wanting to die.


B) God knows that Elijah is still going to run farther. 1) And yet God is going with him and is encouraging him as his personal cook and health consultant!


C) This is the loving kindness of the Lord.

1) Working with us as we are, not waiting for us to be as we should be.


D) He is so good, so kind, so loving and gentle.

1) He is actually going to go to the same place Moses went, Mount Sinai in the wilderness.


E) Horeb and Siani used interchangeably.


Elijah is on a real journey.

A) He is really going through some deeps stuff.


B) God goes with him like an Italian mother:

making sure he is getting sleep and good food.


RD V.8-9 again


#2 God called for a confession.

A) What are you doing here Elijah?


B) Understand the tone: Not mad – not judgmental

1) IN the Garden – Adam where are you …. Heart broken father




C) Same tone with Elijah – What are you doing here.

1) I believe God is asking this so very tenderly:


D) What you doing here Elijah? This is not your place. 1)You are my man, you are a man of faith.

2) You are a called man, not a cave man.


God will often do that with us – He will call for a confession – His spirit to our spirit – what are you doing here – don’t belong here

A) Why are you coping that attitude?


B) Why are you unwilling to forgive

1) He wants to bring us to that place where we confess our sin –


C) The beginning place for brokenness


D) God asked Jacob what is your name

1) Confession of all that he had been –


E) Confess your sins – Forgive / forget

1) Confession is our need – Same the same as

             God calls for confession


Notice Elijah’s answer in v.10 – He is not at that place yet. Rd v.10 again

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."

One sure way to find yourself depressed and discouraged is to take yourself to seriously

A) Cracks me up people who are overly sensitive –always concerned about what others are thinking of them


B) When in reality - no one is really thinking about them that much at all – because we are too busy thinking about ourselves


C) Elijah is taking himself and his importance way too seriously here.


#3 God was so patient with Elijah. RD v.11-12

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.


Side note: God’s will –

A) Too often we look for things to shake

Fires to start / winds to blow


B) Something big to happen that seems to be the indication to us – this is God’s will

1) We say: Looking for an open door

C) Satan can open doors – JONAH


D) God wants to speak to us in that still small voice

1) He wants us to cultivate an ear to hear that still small voice of his spirit speaking to our hearts


It is amazing to me that Elijah could discern that the Lord wasn’t in the fire / wind / earthquake

A) But that he spoke in a still small voice


B) This again speaks of Elijah’s prayer life –

1) He had learned to cultivate an ear for the voice of God


C) God wants us to Cultivate that ear – Learn to sit and listen

1) Walk and pray – Talk and listen


D) Some people just talk – never listen

1) Both are important

13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"


God is so wonderfully working with Elijah.

A)So tenderly and carefully bringing his prophet back on track.


B) God is luring His prophet out of his cave of despair.

Bb) So as the still small voice calls Elijah, he is sensing the presence of God and wraps himself in his mantle and goes to the entrance of the cave.


C) So Beautiful: God is luring him out. God is drawing Elijah, working with him, seeking to get him back on track again.


D) And God knows what it is that Elijah can’t resist.

1) God knows that Elijah desires more than anything: the sweet presence of God. 


So God with a still small voice stands and calls Elijah. And it works.

A) Elijah is lured him to the entrance of the cave. God asks him again: Elijah, what are you doing here?


B) God knows who Elijah is. God knows. Love knows. Love sees the reality.

1) God knows that Elijah is His prophet, a man of faith, a man of obedience.


C) So as God asks this question. It is really reminding Elijah of who he really is.

1) This isn’t your place Elijah, this place of fear and despair. Come on son, let’s go home.


D) But notice: Elijah answers with the exact same words. Elijah has had this wrap down.

1) He had rehearsed it & could repeat it word for word.


14 And he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because 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."



Elijah never answers the question: God says what are you doing here –

A) Elijah doesn’t answer but instead says here is what I have been doing.


B) Instead of saying: I am hiding – I am afraid – I am freaked out – that why I am here

1) I am not trusting –


C) Instead of coming clean and being honest – Elijah says here is what I have been doing


D) We can do that so often too.



#4 God calls Elijah to stand in Faith Rd V15-18

A) Come to reality – You are not alone – 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed the Knee to Baal


B) God wants Elijah to go back to his calling – go back to the work that I prepared for you in advance to walk in.


C) Get back in the will of God.

D) Elijah you do your part and others will do theirs you are not alone.

1) Go Anoint Hazael King over Syria

2) Go anoint Jehu ……. Israel


E) Time for you to take on a disciple

1) God gives Elijah a project – Elisha – eyes off himself and on to someone else


That is a great cure for Depression: God serve – go pour into someone else

A)   Start praying for someone else’s needs


RD V.19-21