Pastor’s Blog

 

Able Church Message:

“Persevering Through Life”

by Pastor Tim 

Today we are looking at a word in scripture called Perseverance. What does that word mean? In a simple way perseverance is us not giving up but staying with something all the way through. When I think of situations of people who persevered in the Bible, I’m almost immediately drawn to Elijah who did many great things in his service to God.

But he too had his moments of doubt and today let me explain how Elijah was much like us and fell short of staying faith filled in his trust of God.In 1 Kings chapter 18 the Lord said to Elijah “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!” There was a drought occurring in the land and this was the third year of that drought. Elijah challenged Ahab at their meeting to bring all the Israelites and all the prophets of Baal and Ashera (850 of them) to Mount Carmel. He alone would represent Yahweh there, as his name meant “Yah is God.”

 

On Mount Carmel Elijah asks all the people, “How long will you waver between two different opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” None of the people answered him. Next, Elijah asked for two bulls to be sacrificed as burnt offerings. “Let the Baal prophets pick first and then make all the preparations for the burnt offering to their god. And I will take the other bull and make all the preparations to sacrifice to Yahweh.” He then announced to everyone, “Let no fire be put to the wood. The true God will light his own sacrifice.”

As soon as the false prophets had made everything ready, they began to pray and dance and plead with their God to light his sacrifice and prove himself. They continued hour after hour and even cut themselves and threw themselves on the ground. Elijah mocked them, and then it was his turn.

He then instructed the false prophets to soak his bull and the wood and the ground with water. They poured water all over everything three times as Elijah directed, even filling a trench with water circling the sacrifice. Then Elijah began to pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and asked God to show himself and his servant and turn the hearts of the people back to himself. Immediately fire fell from heaven and lapped up everything, including the rocks, the dust and the water in the trench.

The people all said surely Yahweh is God, and they fell on their faces. Elijah then had all the false prophets rounded up and took them down the mountain and put them to death.

When King Ahab’s wicked wife Jezebel herd from the King what Elijah had done to the false prophets, she had put into place she sent a message to Elijah and said – “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. 1 Kings 19 Verse 3 (NLT) “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

The story of Elijah and Jezebel continues on for a while in 1 Kings but let me explain that Elijah doesn’t die at all nor does he totally give up. God takes Elijah through this time of doubt and exhaustion and restores him back to the Prophet of faith that we knew earlier. I challenge you to read the remainder of this powerful story of Elijah in 1Kings 13. The take aways are many but none so powerful as the message that God is with us and remains faithful and willing to help us stay with the plan he is working out in our lives. Are you getting discouraged and wanting to give up? Reach out to Jesus and ask Him to help you through whatever you are struggling with. God will help you just as he helped Elijah here in 1 Kings. Trust God as the source of your help and He will not disappoint you.

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