How bold Elijah had been in his victory over the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)! But later we see a very different Elijah. He is afraid, discouraged, lonely. He prays, but what he asks for is death to end his suffering (1 Kings 19).
Elijah’s depression hangs on for weeks. The Lord listens patiently as he pours out his bitterness. The Lord does not rebuke Elijah for being down, but neither does He leave him in his misery. There is work to be done, and Elijah is the one to do it. And furthermore, God tells Elijah he is not, as he had thought, the only faithful one left. There are 7,000 others who have stayed true to God during these difficult times.
Renewed, Elijah serves again as God’s spokesman. Had the Lord granted his request to die, he would have missed out on some extraordinary experiences God had in store for him. And we would not have the inspiring record of his recovery.
Have you ever felt so low you didn’t know how you could possibly face another day? How easy it is just to give up! But God has other plans for us. Like Elijah we may get terribly discouraged, but like Elijah we can receive fresh strength to finish the work God has called us to do.