"Don't Give Up"
February 17, 2012
I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my suffering for you, which is your glory. Ephesians 3:13
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Do you ever get discouraged? Have you ever said, "I have had enough. I can't take it anymore"?
Elijah was a prophet who was at the top of his service. He had exposed the prophets of Baal as impostors, pedaling a fake religion.
When King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done, she sent a message to Elijah. It said, "... 'May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don't do the same thing to you what you did to the prophets'" (1 Kings 19:2b).
The message rattled Elijah, who fled for his life. On his lips were the words: "... 'It is enough, now O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers'" (1 Kings 19:4b). Elijah was a man of God, but that did not prevent him from becoming discouraged.
All through the Scriptures, we find people faithful to God and deeply depressed. John the Baptizer, described by Jesus as the greatest man ever born of a woman, found himself battling dark questions. He sent messengers to Jesus looking for confirmation of Jesus' mission.
Job and prophet Jeremiah both had regrets about ever having lived. Moses, possibly the greatest figure in the Old Testament, prayed to the Lord to take his life.
Eventually, discouragement had powerful Elijah asking the Lord to end his life. He is hardly unique in his dark mood. Others join with the prophet in saying, "It is enough."
I wonder does your present situation have you joining Elijah? Ailing health, disturbed relationships, misunderstandings, changing conditions, the high cost of living, and many other things have a way of shattering dreams and letting discouragement get in the door of our hearts.
It is especially then when we need to remember we may give up on the Lord, but He won't give up on us.
In truth God shows His gracious hand as He bestows His unending and, often unappreciated, grace. The Lord's bounty, of course, is bestowed on all people. But to those who have Jesus as their Savior, it comes in an extra measure. We who have seen the Christ's sacrifice know the Lord's plans for us are good and not for evil.
It took a while for Elijah to find that out.
It shouldn't take us as long. After all, we have been to Bethlehem, Calvary and the empty tomb. It is God's truth to which we should always cling, but especially in dark days of discouragement.
THE PRAYER: Lord, when we are down, lift us up with confidence in You and in Your Son, Jesus. Fortify in us the remembrance of Your grace that meets our needs with forgiveness and renewal of our lives. Help us to live with faith in Your constant watchfulness and care, Your never-failing kindness and Your love that passes all understanding. In the Name of the Savior I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by our friends and co-workers in the office in Ghana. With its ministry center in Accra, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Ghana -- known locally as Lutheran Media Ministry -- was established in 1993. Using Equipping the Saints (ETS), LHM-Ghana performs dramas, engages in children's ministries and reaches out to prisoners by supplying them food, Christian literature and clothing.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries