“He said, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.’” 1 Kings 19:10
The spiritual condition of our culture can be discouraging for followers of Christ. Those who proclaim the name of Jesus openly are targets for public ridicule. It may even seem like you’re the only one in your workplace, school, or family who is following the Lord. Overcoming discouragement when you feel alone can be challenging.
Elijah, too, was discouraged. It seemed that everyone else had forsaken the Lord. You can sense the discouragement in Elijah’s words, “I alone am left.” The prophet needed to trade his perspective for God’s perspective; and that meant getting alone with the Lord. It’s interesting that God isolated Elijah in order to tell him that he was not alone.
How encouraging that God’s answer didn’t come with fire or fury, but as a whisper on a gentle breeze. Not everyone had bowed to Baal. There were still 7,000 mouths willing to confess the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as Lord. Not only that, but the Lord provided someone to take up the work – Elisha. God had a remnant – and He still does.
If we desire to remain faithful in difficult days, then we need to learn three lessons from Elijah’s experience. First, when you feel alone, get alone with the Lord. Spending time in God’s Word tunes our ears to hear the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit. How often do you read the Bible then quietly listen for God to speak to your heart?
Next, seeking out like-minded believers encourages our faith. Being active in a local church fellowship is vital to our spiritual health. Conversations with other believers remind us that we’re not alone in serving the Lord.
Finally, being a spiritual mentor passes the Lord’s work to the next generation. How are you pouring yourself into someone else? Take time to meet a friend for coffee and talk about how God is working in your lives. Invite that young couple to dinner and encourage them as they navigate the challenges of marriage and parenthood.
Following Christ is bound to get more and more challenging in our culture. So, when you feel alone, seek God’s perspective in His Word. Then seek out others who need to be encouraged that they are not alone either.