Down with Disappointment

by | Apr 5, 2024 | transcripts | 0 comments

Hello and welcome to another episode of Worldwide Wonderful Women. I am your host, Paula Harris, and this podcast is for women who are all about learning how to live in God’s divine power. It is produced on behalf of Transformed Worldwide Ministries. Thank you so much for being here.

Welcome to episode number 361, and it is entitled Down with Disappointment. Have you ever felt disappointed and discouraged when some situation in your life did not work out as you had hoped? Today I will offer some ways in which you can deal with disappointment and not be crushed by it.

I believe looking at Elijah’s disappointment in 1 Kings Chapter 19 will help us to receive encouragement. We will see, as it states in James Chapter 5, verse 17, that he was truly human just like us.

We need to briefly review what caused his disappointment before addressing what we need to do to rise above our disappointment.

No doubt Elijah experienced one of the greatest moments in serving the Lord when he was used of God in the slaughtering of 450 false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He probably thought for sure that revival would break out in Israel after God demonstrated that there are no gods beside the one true God, Jehovah. Yet when King Ahab informed his queen Jezebel that her prophets were destroyed along with their false gods, she became infuriated. She sent a message to Elijah that before 24 hours was over, she was going to take his life. Now, in verse 3 of Chapter 19, depending on your translation, states, “when he saw.” Now some translations read “he was afraid,” and many teachings have focused on Elijah as being fearful. But if you look closely, those same translations provide a side note which states, “when he saw”. Well, when he saw what?

When he saw that Jezebel had no change of heart or no mind to repent at all, he became discouraged and fled to Beersheba. His hopes of a revival for the land under this king and queen were dashed. He became discouraged that there would not be a quick end to Baal worship. Things did not turn out as he had hoped. It seemed that when he saw this negative response to such a mighty moving of God, he determined that nothing had really changed or could ever change if the people’s hearts remained the same. In the heat of the trial, Elijah lost sight of the fact that God’s power was greater than Jezebel’s. The same can happen to us. So, what can we do when what we want to happen does not happen?

One, it’s perfectly normal to feel upset or feel overtaken by grief when the outcome is not what you expected. Be honest about what you’re feeling. Just be careful not to express your disappointment by lashing out at others or even yourself. Try your best not to wallow in self-pity too. Prolonged mourning does not benefit you or those around you. Truly, it leads to a dead end and a waste of time. Also, be careful not to stuff or deny what you are feeling. Share them with God and possibly a close friend, or even express what you’re feeling in writing. That way you’re getting the poison out of your system, so to speak. Elijah expressed his true feelings to the Lord. He complained to God that Israel had rejected the covenant, broken down the altars and killed the prophets of the Lord. He claimed to be the only true prophet left.

When he sat under the tree, he said, take my life. This showed how discouraged he was and how that discouragement even led to depression. He expressed that his life had become meaningless. He had expected that the victory on Mount Carmel would lead to a revival in Israel. But Jezebel’s response causes him to doubt that a revival would even take place.

Now, number two, then evaluate if your perception about the situation is true or distorted. Sit quiet in prayer and read the Word of God to reveal the hidden things within your heart. Our hearts are desperately wicked, and who can know them? But the Word of God and prayer will help flush out those things that are within us, that are not of God and those things that are especially not true. Now, although Elijah was a faithful man of God, his disappointment and following depression distorted his view about his life and his discouraging circumstances. Now,
for instance, his view of himself was distorted. He said, “I alone am left.”

He expressed that he was the only faithful prophet left that was serving God. This was not true, because if you read Chapter 18, verse 13, Obadiah had told him how he had hidden 100 prophets in the cave. And then later God reveals to him that there were 7,000 who served and worshipped the Lord and did not bow down to Baal. Another thing, his disappointment caused his view of others to be distorted. He implied that the people were downright faithless. This was not true. In Chapter 18, verses 39 to 40, a group of people are recorded as declaring the one true God and assisting Elijah in slaying those false prophets. He seems to have forgotten that. Another thing, his disappointment caused his view of God to be distorted. He felt that Jezebel was too powerful, and all that God had just accomplished on Mount Carmel did not amount to anything. It did not change the circumstances at all. And of course, this was not true. That quick he had lost sight of God’s almighty power and the victory that was won over Baal worship. This will happen to us as well when our eyes are on the circumstances that are causing disappointment rather than on the Lord.

He also doubted the Lord’s choice of him in using him as well. His statement that he was no better than his ancestors in Chapter 19, verse 4 suggests that he was no more successful than his forefathers in trying to stop Baal worship in Israel. Again, that was not true. Destroying 450 false prophets, not to mention how God had used Elijah before and still would use him in the future, definitely had an impact on God’s plan for Israel and the false worship. He also felt alone and that was not true, for God was a present help for him. God provided food and rest for him. If you read the account in the same book, in the same chapter, then God took him on a mountain and displayed His power once again to Elijah. However, we realize it wasn’t in the big display of God’s presence. It was in the still, small voice, in the quietness that God revealed himself to Elijah.

And what is it that we’re to learn from this? That God is not always at work in ways which are visible and dramatic to us. But His presence is always working, especially quietly in ways that we naturally may not detect. So, when we are discouraged, we need to be aware that it’s not unusual to have a distorted view of God, ourselves, and others.

Now, number three, we need to take time to take care of ourselves. Emotional and mental strain can be just as exhausting as doing something physical. We need to get replenished. We need to eat and rest.

After fleeing Jezebel, Elijah came to a tree and he rested. He prayed that he would die. Yes, this is showing how defeated he was and how he felt depressed. But the Lord lovingly sent an angel
to provide for his physical needs, not just the spiritual. He was given freshly baked bread and plenty of water. And then he got some sleep, strengthened by a few good meals, water and
sound sleep. Then he was strong enough to travel again. Well, number four, accept what has taken place and take one step after another towards your healing and deliverance from discouragement.

I have already made assumptions that if you have committed sin, you have dealt with it by confessing and forsaken it. And that it’s not sin that is the cause of your discouragement. That you have received the forgiveness and love of God for you, that you’re seeking wisdom and direction from him on a continual basis. Knowing that Jesus did not take your place and die on the cross for you to live a defeated life. He shed His blood for you so that you may have life and have it more abundantly. And when you acknowledge that you have sinned and asked Jesus to
forgive you to be your Savior, He will freely do that and freely give you His gift of eternal life. Then, as you begin your journey as a child of God, you will know that He is holding your hand and leading you step by step, just as a mother does her toddler, who is trying to learn to walk for the first time.

On Mount Carmel, Elijah was viewed as a great spiritual leader. On Mount Horeb or Sinai, he appeared as a weak, depressed saint. While at Mount Horeb, God asked him, what are you
doing here? His fleeing from Jezebel ultimately led him to a place that was not originally designed by God for him to be there. So, God gave him instructions to leave. And although Elijah felt that his life was over, God had a different point of view. God was not done with him. He was to leave and contact three other men who would be used of God to bring a correction in the worship in that land of Israel.

Now, if you have been overcome by disappointment, remember what I have shared from these passages. Number one, it’s perfectly normal to feel upset or feel overtaken by grief when the outcome is not what you expected. Be honest about what you’re feeling. Number two, then evaluate if your perception about the situation is true or distorted. Next. Number three, take some time to care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as spiritually.

When you at least take these steps, it’ll start your healing where you can take one step at a time as God is leading you. Realize that God does not want you to be stuck in a place of defeat. Realize His view of you is different and that you are very precious in His sight. So, listen and take the next step that He is directing you to take. Take one step of faith after the other. You won’t see the whole map at one time. Just start down one road and it will lead to another. God is not done with you yet. He has more for you to do. Please my sister, trust Him. I praise God for you and please join me for our next episode. In the meantime, be encouraged and smile. Jesus loves you!

Thank you for listening. To make sure you do not miss any future episodes, please subscribe to our podcast. We want all to be able to live in God’s divine power. Also sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website, twmforjesus.org. Please do share our podcast with others and Lord willing will be together next month.

Paula is compassionately committed to biblically teach and mentor women who desire to be renewed in their minds by God’s eternal Word so their destinies will become a reality. She goes beyond sharing biblical principles to practical application for everyday living. Learn more here.

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