An angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 1 Kings 19:5
“Emotionally, we’ve sometimes worked a full day in one hour,” Zack Eswine writes in his book The Imperfect Pastor. Although he was referring specifically to the burdens pastors frequently carry, this is true for any of us. Weighty emotions and responsibilities can leave us physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. And all we want to do is sleep.
In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah found himself in a situation where he was depleted in every way. We read that Queen Jezebel threatened to put him to death (vv. 1–2) after she discovered he had the prophets of Baal killed (see 18:16–40). Elijah was so afraid he ran away and prayed he would die (19:3–4).
In his distress, he lay down. An angel touched him twice and told him to “get up and eat” (vv. 5, 7). After the second time, Elijah was strengthened by the food God provided, and he “traveled forty days and forty nights” until he came to a cave (vv. 8–9). There, the Lord appeared to him and recommissioned him (vv. 9–18)—and he was refreshed and able to continue the work God had for him to do.
Sometimes we too need to be encouraged in the Lord. This may come in the form of a talk with another believer, a worship song, or time in prayer and God’s Word.
Feeling exhausted? Give your burdens to God today and be refreshed! He will carry your load.
By: Julie Schwab
Reflect & Pray
What area in your life is calling out for encouragement? What form may this come in and how can you seek it out?
Loving God, help me to turn to You when I am worn out. Thank You that in You I find rest.
2 Peter 3:8-9
God’s seemingly slow reaction to sin often puzzles believers. Why doesn’t He immediately punish those who violate His principles? The succinct answer is found in 2 Peter 3: The Lord is patient so that all people have an opportunity to repent (v. 9).
In our humanness, we sometimes want people to suffer for wrongdoing. Jonah ran away from his duty to speak in Nineveh, home of Israel’s brutal enemy. He expected that if the inhabitants repented, his gracious, compassionate God would relent about destroying the city—which is precisely what came to pass. Instead of rejoicing in the Lord’s success, the prophet complained about God’s treating the Ninevites with patience and mercy (Jonah 4:2). Jonah was angry at God despite the fact that he himself was shown divine mercy after acting in blatant disobedience. True, being swallowed and regurgitated by a fish is not pleasant, but the prophet’s life was spared.
More often than not, believers have ample reason to be thankful that the Lord, unlike human beings, is slow to anger. When we are stubborn and unrepentant, He waits patiently for us to respond to conviction. Discipline is painful to both the recipient and the one carrying it out. God prefers that we see the error of our ways, stop thinking that we’re getting away with sin, and turn back to His righteous path.
The Lord places such a high value on repentance and maintaining fellowship that He is willing to delay punishment of sin. But only for a time. Eventually, His justice demands a penalty. Do not wait for discipline. Instead, do what’s right, and turn your heart back toward God.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” (Hebrews 2:3)
One of the greatest words of the Bible is “salvation,” and one could expound its glories at length. Our salvation is so costly that its price was nothing less than the shed blood of the Son of God. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Nevertheless, there are only three verses in the New Testament in which the word is preceded by an adjective. These three descriptive terms are, therefore, very significant. The first of these is the one in our text—“so great” salvation. The adjective here is used only one other time in the New Testament, where it is translated “so mighty” (Revelation 16:18), describing a cataclysm so great that every island and mountain will disappear from the earth!
Not only is our salvation infinitely costly, but unlike everything else in our lives, it is unending: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). Salvation is not merely the impartation of a better life in this life; it is everlasting life in the future life, in the presence of its divine “author” (or “cause”).
The third adjective is quite different. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation” (Jude 1:3). Our salvation is also common! This same word is applied by Paul to “the common faith” (Titus 1:4). Basically, it means “ordinary.” Thus, despite the infinite and eternal values associated with our great salvation, it is also very common and ordinary! Salvation is for anyone, and whosoever will may come! HMM
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
The testimony of the true follower of Christ might well be something like this: The world’s pleasures and the world’s treasures henceforth have no appeal for me. I reckon myself crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. But the multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope. If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellowmen. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam’s sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam’s tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God’s heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.
And thus and thus will I do as God enables me. Amen. NCA036
Lord Jesus, give me that broken heart as I interact with unsaved people in my ministry today. Amen.
Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness.—Psalm 65:8, 11.
He loveth righteousness and justice: the earth is full of the loving kindness of the Lord.—Psalm 33:5 (R.V.).
I sing because
Thy works are fair,
Thy glory makes me glad,
The garments bright of praise I wear,
For Thou art brightly clad.
Full triumph doth my soul possess,
Because Thy ways are right;
The glory of Thy righteousness
Maketh my dear delight.
Thomas H. Gill.
The fullness of joy is to behold God in all; for by the same blessed might, wisdom, and love, that He made all things, to the same end our good Lord leadeth it continually, and there to Himself shall bring it, and, when it is time, we shall see it.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy, while He Himself is His own best gift, and to be enjoyed not in a way of duty, but in the simple, natural realizing aright of what we possess in Him.
John McLeod Campbell.
“If thou seek him, he will be found of thee.” 1Chron. 28:9
We need our God; He is to be had for the seeking; and He will not deny Himself to any one of us if we personally seek His face. It is not, if thou deserve Him, or purchase His favor, but merely if thou “seek” Him. Those who already know the Lord must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent service, and by holy gratitude: to such He will not refuse His favor and fellowship. Those who, as yet, have not known Him to their souls’ rest should at once commence seeking, and never cease till they find Him as their Saviour, their Friend, their Father, and their God.
What strong assurance this promise gives to the seeker! “He that seeketh findeth.” You, yes you, if you seek your God shall find Him. When you find Him you have found life, pardon, sanctification, preservation, and glory. Will you not seek, and seek on, since you shall not seek in vain? Dear friend, seek the Lord at once. Here is the place, and now is the time. Bend that stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the living God. In the name of Jesus seek cleansing and justification. You shall not be refused. Here is David’s testimony to his son Solomon, and it is the writer’s personal witness to the reader. Believe it and act upon it, for Christ’s sake.