Ministry can be so discouraging, depressing, and frustrating IF we only rely on feelings. That’s because feelings (although tangible and real) are not always the greatest communicators of truth. When we only rely upon our feelings, we fall into making faulty assumptions about others. And if we entertain those assumptions, we’ll eventually believe the best about ourselves, and the worst about everyone else.
This is such a common occurrence for those who take ventures of faith in serving the Lord—like Elijah.
Elijah was one of Israel’s most powerful prophets. He single-handedly took on 450 false prophets by calling down fire from heaven. Then he received a death threat from the wicked queen of Israel…and things started to quickly unravel for him because he focused on his feelings.
Elijah became so scared and discouraged because of this threat that he ran into the wilderness and asked the Lord to end his life. Elijah went from living out great faith to focusing on his feelings. He became depressed, weary, and (quite frankly) annoyingly cranky.
But instead of immediately correcting him, God provided Elijah with good food, good rest, and time to recover. Then God drew Elijah out with thoughtful questions. Once Elijah was quiet and ready to receive, God firmly but gently reaffirmed his calling, giving him something specific to do. You can read all about in 1 Kings 19.
We can learn an important lesson from this episode in Elijah’s life. When we’re tempted to only listen to our feelings, we need to take our eyes off of what we think, feel, or assume others are doing (or not doing), and put it back on the Lord. The discouraging feelings, frustrating assumptions, and constant criticisms of others that we entertain reveal our own immaturity and keep us from doing the work that God has called us to do. But when we take our focus off of our feelings and put it back on the Lord, He will restore and revive us for the work He has prepared for us to do.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends