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by Mike Thomley

Every now and then most of us get depressed. We start feeling sorry for ourselves because we look around and see others who seem to have all the things we want and they are enjoying life. We think of all the problems, mishaps and shortcomings in our own lives. We fail to see any valuable contribution we can make.

The phenomenon is not new. It is almost as old as the world. When considering Biblical examples. Elijah comes quickly to mind (1 Kings 19:9-10). One of the interesting characteristics of Elijah's misconception about his circumstance is how it affected his work for the Lord. He had just unquestionably defeated and put to shame wicked Jezebel and the prophets of Baal and had shown God to be the almighty power in the world. Now he has hidden himself in a cave and trembles in cowardly fear because he thinks everyone is out to get him. Ironic isn't it? Consider: If Elijah was the only faithful servant of God in the world (as he thought), would his fear of man be justified? The man who has just shown the world the power of God, now shrinks back because he is afraid of the power of men. If anyone should have known that earthly power and might are insignificant in comparison to God's power, it was Elijah.

Are we guilty of the same inconsistencies today? We sit around, at times, licking our wounds and feeling sorry for ourselves? Do we cry, Oh, Lord, it's so hard. The world is so wicked, the church is full of hypocrites, false doctrine is thriving. My family is giving me a hard time. Nobody appreciates the good I do. There are only a few of us, what can we do? Paul said that he could do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). He also said because we are at war with Satan and his forces, we must be prepared for battle (Ephesians 6:10-18). The outcome of the conflict has been determined (1 Corinthians 15:57), therefore, we should never be overtaken by depression or despair when it seems as if Satan has the upper hand. The revelation John received while he was in exile on Patmos is nothing more than a reassurance that God continues to maintain control and will, at His discretion, punish the wicked for their vile deeds. Elijah soon discovered life wasn't as bad as it seemed. Interestingly, we, too, see things in a new light when we endure or when we see things through. When life seems unexplainable and impossible to endure, remember Paul's encouragement in Romans 8:26-31. If God is for us, who is against us?

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