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OVERCOMING DISCOURAGEMENT!
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God had used Elijah's mouth to warn the people and to suppress idol worship. Queen Jezebel placed a death warrant on Elijah's life. He fled in dismay at his own weakness. Elijah felt so alone and was so discouraged, "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!" " (NKJV), 1 Kings 19:4. Have you ever felt like Elijah as his soul was in anguish under the tree? It is no disgrace to be discouraged; however, the Bible identifies several ways we can overcome discouragement.

1. Remember that you are not alone. God told Elijah that there were seven thousand people who had not worshiped Baal (1 Kings 19:18). The Lord told Paul on a ship tossed with waves that he was not alone (Acts 27:23). Discouragement rarely wants companionship. Talk with God and with your fellow Christians; give and receive encouragement.

2. Know that God is in control. When it looks like all creation is breaking loose and chaos runs rampant with its feverish fury, know that God is still on His throne in Heaven. The psalmist said, "I know the Lord will maintain" (Ps. 140:12). Solomon said that the righteous will come through trouble (Prov. 12:13). God said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

3. Speak a kind word to others. Discouragement muffles the pleasant words of encouragement. Force yourself to say good things to those around you and your mind will remember that you have a good heart to speak good words. The wise man said that anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad (Prov. 12:25). CF. Prov. 25:11.

4. Let God's Word remain in your heart. We will suffer no persecution which is unfamiliar to God. Persecution will come but the awe of God's Word will remain in our hearts (Ps. 119:161).

5. Do not give up hope. Deferred hope makes our heart sick (Prov. 13:12). Jesus hasn't given up on us so why should we give up on Him? He promised "I am with you always" (Matt. 28:20).

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