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Pastor Dennis Smith

 Utter Exhaustion and Eyes Turned Away

 

The experience of Elijah’s great victory on Mount Carmel, and his fleeing from Jezebel’s threat also illustrates a crisis of faith (1Kings 18-19).  In this story we find important lessons concerning the necessity of continuing our close communion with God.  Satan took advantage of Elijah’s physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.  He could stand before hundreds of pagan priests, call fire down from God in a challenge of who was the true God, but the threats of enraged Jezebel undid him and he fled for his life.

In the process of becoming like Christ we too may go through times where everything seems to come in on us and we feel overwhelmed.  When this happens it is important we remember what is happening.  Feelings of being overwhelmed are caused by us loosing our hold on God, and looking to ourselves or the situation.

Every time we take our sights off Christ we will begin to sink in failure just as Peter began sinking in the sea when he looked to the waves and not Christ. Even though Peter was walking on the water at Christ’s command, the threatening storm and waves put fear in his heart.  We too will experience fear when under Christ’s leading we find ourselves in the midst of a terrible storm of life and we take our eyes off Him.

Another lesson from Elijah’s experience relates to the importance of following God’s laws of health.  As Seventh-day Adventists we have been aware of God’s counsels on health for over one hundred years.  The reason following these is important is that their neglect can lead us to weaken in our hold Christ.  For example, if you consistently don’t get enough rest you will become overly tired, mentally fatigued and spiritually, emotionally and physically weakened.  This will affect your faith relationship with Christ, which could lead to a crisis of faith.

The experience of Job certainly illustrates the faith struggle when the Lord allows crisis to come into our life.  Job did not know what had transpired between God and Satan.  Crisis after crisis came upon him; loss of material possessions, loss of family, loss of health.  He received no understanding or encouragement from his wife or friends.  In bitterness his wife told him to curse God and die.  His friends kept telling Job that these events were essentially judgments from God because of sin in his life.  Yet, through all this Job kept his faith and declared his trust in God with the words, “though slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

The Christian life is not without its challenges, difficulties, disappointment, and tragic experiences.  However, if we learn to rest in Jesus we can have an abiding peace; a peace that “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

This is the experience the Lord wants to lead us into.  For this kind of faith and resting in Christ will be necessary for all who enter into the great tribulation or time of trouble.  All earthly support will be removed.  Many friends and family members will turn against them.  However, if they have learned the truth of abiding in Christ all fear will be gone, and the “faith” and “faithfulness” of Jesus will be manifested in their life.  Then the trials they experience during that difficult time will only serve to further prepare them for Christ’s glorious return.

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

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