In studying Elijah's defeat of the suggestion of discouragement, we discover many helpful points. In following his career as recorded in I Kings, chapters 17—19, we find him selfless and tireless in God's work, subjugating human desires to the achieving of a holy purpose. But the day comes when he admits the suggestions of failure and discouragement. However, concurrently with these evil innuendos comes the angel, or inspiration, wakening him out of self-mesmerism. There follows no interlude of self-pampering, self-pity, or folding of hands in indolence. Straightway he sets forth for "the mount of God."

Elijah's obedience to God's demand for progress is one of the most touching stories in the Bible. Humbly he climbs the heights of Mount Horeb in order that he may commune more closely with God. There he is shown that none of the so-called forces of matter have any intelligence or power. Mortal mind's most shattering experiences can only succeed in drawing us to the mountaintop, where we hear the "still small voice" of God uttering its assurance of His ever-presence. God has always further work for us to do, even as he had for Elijah, who was directed at this his time of greatest discouragement to return to Israel, in order to anoint new kings in Syria and Israel and to anoint Elisha to carry on the work which he had started.

Who has not at some time or other listened to the suggestion of discouragement? Is there any more subtle foe? Its subtleness lies in the fact that if we listen to it, we may then be induced to stop working, to stop praying, and figuratively to sit down under a juniper tree as did Elijah and say with him (I Kings 19:4), "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."

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Heaven Here and Now
March 1, 1947

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