When I’m struggling through Dark Days, where is God?

Sermon Notes: When I’m struggling through Dark Days, where is God? 1 Kings 19:1-9

It’s easy to trust God when the sun is shining, your health is good, but what happens when a Pandemic hits and changes life beyond anything, we could ever have imagined possible?

You know life breaks us all and nobody gets through life without pain, and here we are in one of those broken times in life.

Depression, it’s something we don’t always talk about, maybe we’re frightened to do so, or the other reason is because there is stigma surrounding mental health. Yet depression causes tremendous suffering, and it is a serious illness that requires serious attention and treatment. There are rising rates of depression in all age groups and as someone has said: ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’

When we find Elijah here in 1 Kings 19, he feels like giving up, he wants to quit, he has crashed and burned out. He has had enough and is totally drained to the point where he just has nothing more to give, Maybe, you’ve felt like that lately yourself? Did you know that Christians are NOT immune from depression?

Elijah is being threatened and hounded by the King’s wife, Jezebel v2. She is determined to make life difficult for him, even though in the previous Chapter, Elijah had a mountaintop experience, when God defeated his enemies, but Jezebel is out for revenge. And here’s Elijah in Chapter 19, where all the thrills and spills of Chapter 18 have gone, all the lovely and marvellous and powerful experiences of God have gone, and now he is plunged into deep darkness and he feels alone.

Verse 4, Elijah expresses his pain to God, that he’s had enough. It’s okay to be honest with God, to tell Him how you’re really feeling. He prays to the Lord and says, ‘Lord I have had enough, it’s too much, I thought things would change after Mount Carmel, and yet nothing has changed.’

It’s said that Elijah left his servant, and he went alone travelling all day into the wilderness. Discouraged people are lonely people. They say that a Broom tree in the wilderness has room for only one underneath it and that is where we find Elijah.

Depression is a very lonely illness, and people who are struggling through depression tend to avoid other people and isolate themselves, we can feel like we are dealing with this all alone.

And in that really low time, God comes to Elijah in verse 5, ‘Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat’ 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.’

Elijah is exhausted, if he lies down at all he sleeps. God says to him, ‘take it easy my son.’ ‘Relax.’ You haven’t had a meal in a long time.’ V8-9, ‘So he got up and ate and drank.’

God is graciously drawing this tired and weary man Elijah out of his discouragement and depression to a place where he can soak up and soak in God’s lovely presence once again, where God can refresh and renew this man’s heart and spirit.

Question: Is God trying to draw you back this morning? Maybe you feel that you can’t show your feelings to the people around you, so you put on a mask, and when people ask us how we’re doing, we say, ‘I’m fine.’ When the truth is, that inside we are far from fine.

What God is trying to do here in this passage is, that He is drawing Elijah back, just to a place where Elijah could pour out the pain and heartache, the frustration and hurt and catch that fire of God again in his heart.

Verses 9 to 14, God shows Elijah something of His gentleness and power, v13, God not only draws Elijah out of a cave, but also out of himself to meet with God once again.

God rarely shouts, most often when God speaks to us it will be in a quiet voice. We may feel bruised, broken, at rock bottom, we may be feeling sad and lonely, fearful and disappointed, we may feel like we are fractured and hurting inside, and it’s times like that when we really need to experience something of the quiet presence and voice of God.

God speaks to Elijah in the midst of his pain and heartache. God meets him at his lowest point, at his place of need and speaks into his situation.

One of the most important things to remember when we’re going through dark and difficult times in life is, that it’s not how much of a grip we have on God, but how strong His grip is on us. That’s what He’s doing to Elijah, and that’s what He is doing maybe for you this morning. He’s just reaching down, taking you by the hand and lifting you up, helping you up, building you up, so that we can keep on going and trusting in Him.

PRAYER: Father God, let Your Holy Spirit come and take control of every situation that has or is troubling my mind. Father God, relax the tension in my body. Calm the restlessness of my mind, still the thoughts which worry and overwhelm me. Help me to rest myself and my problems in your strong and loving arms. Let Your Holy Spirit speak peace to my mind and heart right now. In Jesus Name. Amen.