My personality tends to be more on the melancholy side. I am quick to see the glass “half empty” and bemoan any circumstances that don’t seem to be going my way. It has been a process, through years of growth, in understanding and recognizing this tendency in myself. It has given me great encouragement to find examples in Scripture of others who have walked through “dark nights of the soul” and come out on the other side.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah had just come off the heels of a major victory in the name of Yahweh. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had been targeting and killing off the prophets of Yahweh in Israel, while simultaneously installing Baal worship and idolatry. For someone as zealous for the Lord as Elijah, it was a dark and heavy time, indeed. Yahweh had revealed Himself powerfully through Elijah, but once Jezebel found out, she sent a message to Elijah, threatening his life (v.2). The weight of Jezebel’s threat, combined with the sin and idolatry of his own people, became so heavy, Elijah prayed for God to take his life (v.4).
There are many things that come into our lives that threaten to weigh us down. Elijah let his guard down, and instead of listening to the voice of Yahweh, he listened to the voice of Jezebel. The voice of the enemy will always try to steal our peace and threaten our hope. God was so gracious to Elijah in his moment of despair. He let him rest, fed him, and then brought him to a place of quiet. It was in the quiet that Elijah heard the still small voice of God, speaking hope of new things to come.
The days when my heart is most heavy, I remind myself to become quiet. I still my heart before the Lord and allow Him to speak His tender words of hope over me. He reminds me that even in the valley, He will make a “door of hope” (Hosea 2:15). He is always faithful to walk us through the door as we put our trust in Him.
What are ways you can guard your hope?