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Getting Through Hard Times

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Elijah had just witnessed God’s provision of rain after three years of drought (1 Kings 18:41-45). He had defeated the prophets of Baal after God sent fire to consume the burnt offering that Elijah had drenched with water (1 Kings 18:20-40). But then Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him, so Elijah ran away (1 Kings 19:1-4). He asked God to take his life. Despite the miracles he had just seen God perform, he felt defeated, discouraged and utterly exhausted.

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How did God respond? By sending an angel to make Elijah breakfast. Elijah was so exhausted that he ate it and promptly fell asleep again. But the angel did it again, and Elijah was strengthened enough to walk for 40 days and nights to Horeb (also known as Mount Sinai), which was called the “mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:5-8). He had a divine appointment.

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Then comes my favorite part of the story. Elijah finds shelter in a cave, and God asks him what he’s doing there. Elijah tells Him of his frustrations, that despite his own faithfulness, the people of Israel have turned away from God, and now they want to kill Elijah, too. God tells him to go out of the cave and wait for Him. We read in 1 Kings 19:11-13 that a mighty wind tears at the mountain, “but the Lord was not in the wind.” An earthquake shakes the mountain, “but the Lord was not in the earthquake.” A fire licks at the vegetation on the mountain, “but the Lord was not in the fire.” After the fire comes a gentle whisper, and that’s when Elijah knew he was in the Lord’s presence.

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Despite the din and chaos surrounding him, Elijah knows his Master’s voice. And after asking him again what he is doing there, God gives him His instructions (1 Kings 19:14-18). Elijah must go back. There is still hard work to do, and many of the unfaithful will be killed, but God promises that a remnant of faithful Israelites will remain. And God also promises Elijah a helper, and ultimately a successor, in Elisha.

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When we go through hard times, God is still with us. We may be surrounded by people who oppose us, who want to see us defeated, but there is hope. If you’re finding it difficult to maintain your faith while getting through the hard times you face, if all you see is darkness and chaos, don’t give up! God will give you what you need: sustenance for the journey. You have a divine appointment with Him!

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Take some time to read through these articles. Read the story of Elijah, and take heart that God will meet you where you are, too. He may still have work for you to do. It may not always be easy. But even in the midst of our suffering, God is present. Just Between Us (JBU) wants you to know that you are not alone, and we will be praying for you, too!

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