Elijah fell to the lowest depth of despair, vacationing in a cave to escape the disaster he just encountered. While in the cave, wrestling with fear and pity, he witnessed some marvelous things. He saw a whirlwind dismount rocks and send them cascading down the mountain where he hid. He saw an earthquake abase trees and shrubs that once stood as objects of admiration. He saw a fire scorch the vegetation that once gave shelter and nourishment to animals. But most impressive of all, he heard God, who controlled it all, say, “Go back to Damascus. Your work is not finished.” Elijah received yet another reminder of our sovereign God, the one whose voice brings peace and clarity to the wildest situations.
Just imagine how comforting this experience was. First, God knew where he was. Life can’t drop us in a pit where God can’t find us. Second, He let Elijah vent. God does not ignore or mute our requests; He lets us empty our hearts at the throne of grace. Last, none of wonders Elijah saw harmed him. God knows our limits, and His protection is so comprehensive that nothing can penetrate it!
If you haven’t figured it out, I’m just reminding you that God is sovereign. He has all power and never leaves us alone in our disastrous circumstances. Remember, you have a friend who cannot be defeated. And if God is for us, nothing can be against us!
Charles Swindoll said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” In other words, our response to our circumstances is more impacting than the circumstance itself. So, how do you respond to problems? If you’re like Elijah, then you may say, “Why me?” or “Nothing ever works out in my favor.” When Elijah heard about Jezebel’s plans, he had a pity party. He told God, “I have had enough … Take my life …”
I’ll admit it – sometimes, I respond just like Elijah. This weekend, however, Bishop T.D. Jakes reminded me that our perspective is so important when we face problems. He encouraged viewers of the Potter’s Touch broadcast to stop looking at problems like obstacles and start viewing them as opportunities for God to show up. Wow! That’s great insight! With the right perspective, we can overcome disaster before it subsides!
Your perspective shapes your destiny. Remember, nothing is too hard for God. Let your perspective reflect that belief, and you’ll walk victoriously in the midst of the storm.
My heart goes out to the people in Haiti. My concern is not rooted exclusively in the recent earthquake. Rather, I empathize because it seems like they’ve dealt with misfortune more often than not. Throughout history, Haiti has faced one natural disaster after another. I’m sure it’s easy for the inhabitants to think Haiti is the only address programmed into misfortune’s GPS.
You can go through situations so rough, and so often, that it seems like you’re the only one going through. This weekend, however, God reminded me, through the text included above, that trouble has no boundaries. Elijah was one of God’s favorite people; he was His prophetic vessel sent to destroy the works of darkness and proclaim God’s Word. Elijah even appeared with Moses and Jesus as the disciples watched the transfiguration. Despite these accolades, Elijah was not exempt from disaster. As soon as he had preached one of his best sermons, he received a death threat from Jezebel.
Trouble does not discriminate; it’s an equal opportunity employer. Even people who love and live for God face difficult times. During these times, however, we can embrace Peter’s words: “Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1 Peter 5:9, New Living Translation). Others have gone through, and conquered, the circumstances you’re facing!