A NEW YOU: Arise; there is a wonderful future in store for you
Published 12:00 am, Sunday, March 4, 2018
Have you ever felt as though your hands were tied? Has it been one challenge, followed by another? Now, are you yielding to fears and discouragement, thinking, “I don’t see how this circumstance can ever turn around?” Then, with hopelessness in your voice, you might throw up your hands and say, “I can’t do anything about it anymore,” until you concede to discouragement and get so depressed that you just quit.
I read in the Scriptures how Elijah, one of God’s greatest prophets, conceded to discouragement and became depressed. Elijah was not only the worker of miracles, but he also experienced one miracle after another. Elijah, a widow, and the widow’s son were provided for during the famine. Miraculously, Elijah raised the widow’s son from the dead, and the child was restored to life. God had sent ravens to feed Elijah. And Elijah prayed for a rainstorm that ended the drought.
Up until then, Elijah was the epitome of courage. So why would a man who had experienced some of the most powerful displays of God’s power be crippled by negativity, fear and hopelessness?
Unable to regain control of his emotions and in the depths of despair, Elijah was physically and emotionally broken down and fragile. He wasn’t eating. And with a self-focused perspective, he was drowning in self-pity.
Depressed about himself and his work, Elijah isolated himself from other people. The more depressed he got, the less he wanted to be around anyone. He had no strength. He was battling to maintain his faith. Feeling a deep sense of failure, although there was no truth to it, Elijah thought that his best days were over. As fog veils a beautiful countryside, Elijah’s depression clouded life itself. Seeing no way out of his situation, he was ready to quit and wanted his life to end, uttering, “I’ve had enough, Lord.” (1 Kings 19: 4, 5)
But when God is in charge, there is always hope. God had a restoration plan. Interestingly enough, God gave Elijah a prescription to deal with his depression.
First: Get enough rest (1 Kings 19:5). Secondly: Eat healthy foods (1 Kings 19:6). Third: Spend quiet time with the Lord and by himself in prayer (1 Kings 19:12). Fourth: God had Elijah tell Him about the problem. He wanted to get to the root causes of his depression. For God knows and designed our need to feel heard and understood and, perhaps, to reflect on his perspective and deal with the false beliefs that were fueling Elijah’s depression (1 Kings 19:13). Then, at the right time, God corrected Elijah’s perspective with His truth. Fifth: God wanted Elijah to start moving forward with something productive to do. (1 Kings 19:15-16)
Patient and gracious, God needed Elijah to avoid false assumptions, to stop crying over the past and to stop running away from his present. And today, perhaps, God is saying the same thing to you. You’ve worked too hard and sacrificed too much to give up on the desires of your heart now. Keep going forward and do not underestimate what God can do. Even if the odds are stacked against you, don’t give up on life for God is not finished with you yet. And like Elijah, you’ll regain your strength and you’ll continue to do your God-given work.
So my encouragement today is: Arise, there is a wonderful future in store for you. Be set free from wrong ideas and mind-sets. Look ahead. Stretch forward toward a new day and thank God for all you have going for you. The Apostle Paul used a runner’s analogy to put the past and future in their proper perspective. Paul had many struggles and afflictions. Yet, God brought him through each one successfully. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13, 14, “but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark.” A runner in a race should not look back. For if they do, they may stumble and fall. The runner should only look ahead and focus on the finish line. Be patient, for the Bible says to everything there is its own time and season (Ecclesiastics 3:1). Circumstances can quickly change. And blessings are just around the corner.
Last Saturday, my family and I decided to go out for breakfast. It was a foggy, rainy morning, and many of the local restaurants were very busy. We stopped at a few eateries, but there was an hour or more wait for a table. Next, we drove by a different restaurant and the parking lot was full. Then, we parked the car and went into another small café. Just as the four of us walked through the front door, a couple got up from their table. In fact, it was a perfect table, right next to a big picture window. So rather than waiting, we were able to sit right down. The couple stopped back to our table after paying their bill, and the man said to us, smiling, “Your timing was perfect.”
Similarly, God’s timing is perfect. God is directing your path, and He is going to crown your good efforts with success. He will bring you fulfilling, new opportunities. The right person is on the way. Your needs will be met. And there are new levels of victory ahead. Hence, keep praying, keep working, keep striving, and keep reaching for your treasured dreams. Don’t take your eyes off of your goals for a moment. Believe that they will come to pass. Then, with faith, call those big dreams forth, as if they were already here, and work toward them with thankfulness. Always be grateful for all of your blessings, for gratitude is the energy that fuels the manifestations of your desires.
A favorite song that always lifts my spirits, by Johnson Oatman, is titled, “Count Your Blessings”:
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. …
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.”
Regardless of what you face today, know that there is a wonderful future ahead. Arise and receive the good things God has in store for you!
Email Catherine Galasso-Vigorito at firstname.lastname@example.org. To order a copy of her new book, “The Open Window, 8 Weeks to Creating an Extraordinary Life,” visit www.anewyouworldwide.com or bookstores nationwide. Like me on Facebook!