Would you describe your faith journey as a consistent line of growth or do you think it resembles peaks and valleys?
If you feel that your faith journey has been typified by one step forward and two steps back then I am speaking to you today. I want you to understand that even ‘greats’ of the faith have experienced setbacks. The most important thing is how you respond when your faith gets challenged.
We can sometimes look at amazing people of the faith and feel that we are not in the same league as them, that somehow they were given something that we weren’t. We often see that they were so bold and courageous for God in the most intimidating of situations, moving from strength to strength.
Today I want to focus on Elijah, who lived an amazingly courageous life but also experienced times of failure and doubt.
Elijah is probably most famous for his ‘battle off’ with the prophets of Baal. If his story had ended there it would have be an amazing story of faith and courage: one that would bring endless encouragement to step out in faith in our own situations. But the story doesn’t end there. His faith journey was not without struggles and it seems like only a split second later Elijah is crippled by fear as he runs away to hide over a death threat from Jezebel. Elijah seems to move from a person full of faith to someone with no faith at all!
I can relate to Elijah’s journey. There have been times in my life where I have been full of faith and experienced God working powerfully. I have completely trusted Him and have felt that doubt and fear will no longer be an issue for me. How wrong have I been! Inevitably, something or someone comes along and it rattles me and I feel like I have returned to square one. I can see myself running for the hills just like Elijah.
Have you experienced moments where you feel your faith is on fire. In these moments you start by feeling God working powerfully through you and it feels like you are finally getting traction in life. Then seemingly out of nowhere setback comes and you feel as though you have failed!
If you feel that your journey is more like a rollercoaster than a gondola ride down a river then you are not alone.
However, what I notice about Elijah and other “heroes of faith” is that they never let the setbacks define them. They picked themselves up and carried on, always looking forward.
Don’t disqualify yourself from your journey of faith just because you experience a setback.
Setbacks are inevitable, it’s how we respond to them that sets us apart.
Elijah picked himself up and carried on. He didn’t quit the race.
There is an enemy that would like nothing better than for you to disqualify yourself, wallow in self-pity and doubt and give up. That’s why he sets us up!
Many more amazing things happened in Elijah’s life. If he had given up and hidden away those things would not have happened.
It takes courage and humility to walk out our faith journey. It’s not easy but we can pick ourselves up after a setback and continue on.
I realise that my journey may not be a smooth as I would like it to be. My hearts’ desire is to grow in faith and move from strength to strength. But Lord, in those times when I do experience setbacks please help me to dust myself off, put my hand in Yours and continue to run the race set before me.