"I’ve had enough." Have you ever felt like that? Sufferings and setbacks can bring you to that brink. Weariness from what you see in the world can push you to that edge. It is a place of darkness, of loneliness…of despair. Elijah, one of the Bible’s greatest prophets felt that, said that – "I have had enough, Lord." He took it a step further: "Take my life." And sensing that his ministry was a complete failure, he said, "I am the only one left." God meets him in his despair, asking, "What are you doing here Elijah?" God, knowing all things, asks the question because He knows Elijah needs to talk. He then sends a fearsome wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but God doesn’t speak to Elijah through these intimidating forces. Instead God comes to him with "a gentle whisper." Though He could have forcefully confronted Elijah for his self-absorbed self-pity, God dealt graciously and tenderly with him in his weakness. (I Kings 19:1-18)
God’s whisper of grace affected a 180-degree change in Elijah. He didn’t stay on that mountain, withdrawn from life, lingering in his self-pity. "Elijah went from there" (I Kings 19:19) – restored, refocused, renewed. The whisper that worked this change in Elijah is the same gentle whisper of God’s grace that speaks to you today throughout God's Word, the Bible. It is the same gentle voice that says to you, "Friend, your sins are forgiven" (Luke 5:20), the same voice that assures you, "Neither do I condemn you" (John 8:11), the same voice that promises you, "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19). It is the same voice that cries from the cross, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34), the same voice that consoles, "Peace be with you" (John 20:21). Listen, dear hurting and repentant hearts – these are the gracious words of God to you! All that these words promise and proclaim are yours through faith in Jesus. They are gentle indeed, but oh-so powerful to resurrect your life FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE.
Discover God's power to change your life in the GRACE 180 series.
INTRO, HOPE, COVERED, TRUTH, FULLNESS, REST, PEACE, OPEN, NEW, RESURRECTION
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.