Pastor's wife: God will give you what you need to 'stay the course'


The prophet Elijah knew plenty about the ups and downs of following God. We can draw strength and encouragement from his true story. We can be reminded that through good times and bad, God is still with us, and will help us in staying the course.

Let’s be honest. When things are difficult, our enemy, the devil, wants us to stop reading the Bible. We may secretly say to ourselves, but not to anyone else, “I just don’t get anything out of it.” Keep reading anyway. How many times did you not want to go to school? Teachers never once asked if we felt like opening our books there. We opened them up to learn.

Stay. In. God’s. Word.

Also…when things are difficult, the enemy wants us to stop talking to our Heavenly Father. He wants to stop that crucial communication. Keep talking to Him. When you don’t have words, just cry or squeak them out.

In 1 Kings 17 we see that Elijah obeyed the Lord, but that didn’t mean things were easy. Still, the Lord provided.

He drank out of the brook (in the mountains we would call that “the creek”) and God had ravens provide him with food. I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to be poor, but I promise you (from experience) the LORD will provide. Sometimes you will have a little bit of gravy. Sometimes you will have a lot.

Elijah stayed the course.

Then, he did what a preacher does: he told the truth. To King Ahab he said, “You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baal’s, (I Kings 18:18). That led to a showdown on Mt. Carmel.

A very dramatic event played out in 1 Kings 18. Read it when you have time and picture it all. There on the mountain, Elijah called down fire from heaven. All the people and Queen Jezebel’s false prophets saw who the One True God is. It was a literal mountaintop experience where God showed up and displayed His mighty power.

Mountaintop experiences are amazing and wonderful, and they usually last about 15 minutes. That’s when the devil raises his stupid, ugly head. He doesn’t want us to worship and follow God. He does not want us to walk in godly paths and he sure doesn’t want us to tell others about God.

So, he will bring trouble, anxiety, strife…he will bring the rain on your parade. That’s what he did to Elijah.

Jezebel did not take the news of the day’s events well. She put a bounty on the prophet. He would be dead by the next day.

Elijah, being completely human, was afraid and ran for his life. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed to die. He had gone from mountaintop to the low, low valley of despair. A few verses later, he went into a cave.

Like Elijah, in hard times, we may want to hide in a cave. The Lord can find us there.

In this very applicable story, God did not smite the prophet. They had a conversation. He asked, “What are you doing, Elijah?” It was a fair question.

Elijah just laid it out to the Lord. We can do that, too. Since He made us, and sees us, there’s no sense in trying to hide our feelings from Him.

God had encouraging words. Even though the prophet was tired, scared, and feeling low, there was still a plan for his life.

Some Go's to remember:

Go ahead and cry out, but don’t stay in the cave.
Go out and stand. Not in your strength, but in the Lord’s.
Keep going. Don’t quit.

The LORD sees you. He loves you. He will help you stay the course.


Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at