by Larry Burkett
1 Kings 1:1-2:12; 2 Samuel 23:1-7
"I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory" (Ephesians 3:13).
Our first reaction to the pressures of life is to run. It's simply easier to withdraw and feel sorry for ourselves than it is to stand against the enemy.
No one can question Elijah's courage or commitment to God. He regularly risked his life to deliver God's messages. And yet, right after he had called down God's fire from heaven and had destroyed the prophets of Baal, he ran when Jezebel threatened him.
In 1 Kings 19:4 he is found under a juniper tree, asking God to let him die. Instead, God comforted him, fed him, and told him to relax and rest. Later when Elijah was refreshed, God sent him back into the battle.
Then there's the apostle Paul: He must have had some real doubts about the difficulties he faced while serving the Lord. But the overwhelming characteristic we see in Paul's letters is the ability to relax and enjoy life--to be co ntent--regardless of external circumstances.
When you are in the midst of difficult circumstances, can you say that you--like Paul--are relaxed? Or do you--like Elijah--run?
To honor God, we must be more like Paul: relaxed and content with our circumstances.
"I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies" (Psalm 18:3).
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