Heavy Loads 06 - Self-Pity
The last load you need to let go is the weight of self-pity. This feeling weighs heavily on us. It usually accompanies the other destructive feelings in our list. Self-doubt and low self-esteem lead to self-pity.
Let’s review what happened to Elijah (1 Kings 18-19). The prophet arrived at the kingdom of the north demanding to speak to the king Ahab. Three years before, Elijah said it would not rain unless he said so. After a three-year drought, the prophet returns. But the king and queen Jezebel were farther from God then ever before. Jezebel had ordered to kill all the prophets of the Lord. Another prophet from this story, Obadiah, hid 100 men in caves. Elijah then asked the king to bring all the 850 false prophets up to the mount Carmel. The standoff resulted in fire coming down from heaven to consume Elijah’s offering demonstrating God of Israel was the only true God. On the other hand, the false prophets could not awaken their false gods and they were slayed by the word of Elijah.
The next chapter in these exhilarating events is were we focused attention this week. Elijah allowed Jezebel’s offence, and his insecurity, fear, discouragement, and pride, to make him loose his trust in the Lord. He fled to the wilderness in order to hide from the threat of losing his life. When God approached him, he demonstrated pride and self-pity. Elijah was carrying emotional weights that became too heavy for him. His feelings made him loose his confidence and strength in the Lord. So, if we want to become strong spiritually, we need to let go of what is weighing us down. Today is the day we need to let go of the feeling of self-pity.
We read in James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” And in Romans 5:3-5 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Elijah was not rejoicing in his trials; but because of self-pity he forgot the value of his life. He said to God “they seek to take my life” … and “it is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:10, 4). He thought, I am the only one left and everybody else is trying to kill me. But was that the truth? Was he the only one left? Verse 18 says: “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” He sat under a broom tree feeling sorry for himself. But God came to him, because that place of self-pity did not belong to him.
God is asking you today: what are doing under there having pity on yourself. “Nobody loves me,” “my friends don’t understand me,” “no one believes in me.” No! Repeating those thoughts only weakens your faith. Be strong in the Lord. “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6), God has a plan for you. The words of Jeremiah 29:11 brings us comfort: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.”
We need to own up to our identity in Christ. We need to have security in God; trust in Him. We need to know who we are, why we are here, and the purpose God has for our lives. We need to fulfill our purpose and our mission the Lord has designed for us. Let go today of the loads that keep you down.
With God as our personal trainer, we will develop spiritual muscles to sustain any difficulties. Reclaim your strength in the Lord.