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Elijah the Prophet: What We Can Learn From His Mental Health

  • There are times that we get discouraged, depressed, and despondent.
  • There are times when we find ourselves in the grip of despair.
  • There are times when fear tries to possess us.
  • There are times when doubt tries to get the best of us.
  • There are times when we experience loneliness and a feeling that nobody understands us at all.

Even we as minister the gospel of our Lord and Savior, we can experience dramatic changes and cry out for human help.

Elijah the Prophet and His Collapse and Restoration

In this case study, let’s take a closer look at how discouraged Elijah was and the condition that he found himself in while in full ministry (preaching from the pulpit).

  • He was suddenly gripped by fear and awakened. Fear is a dreadful thing, which we have all experienced in some measure of Christian devotion.
  • He went into a self-imposed isolation. He was unable to bear the presence of his servant. When we are over-strained, even the presence of friends and loved ones can irritate us.
  • He was overwhelmed with depression, despondency, and despair. Elijah the Prophet is now sitting under a broom tree! Have you been like that? Are you under the broom tree now? Look up Psalms 42:11 and 43:5.
  • He was presumptuous and unwise in his praying. He felt as the psalmist did in Psalm 55:3–8.
  • He was filled with self-pity. This is always a dangerous state to get into.
  • He had an unbalanced view of things. In times of overstrain and illness, everything gets out of perspective, and little problems become greatly exaggerated in our minds. This is called overload.
  • He temporarily lost his faith in God. He still believed in Him, but he could not trust Him in this emergency, so “he went to pieces.”
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Author and Pastor Dr. Bill Reese’s extensive professional ministry pairs exhaustive theological studies with intensive community initiatives focused on behavioral health and disabilities. He has dedicated most of his time and energy to helping in behavioral health organizations and faith-based organizations. After attending Southwestern Baptist Seminary School of Theology earned his doctorate at Evangel Christian University. He is married with twelve children (nine adopted) and thirty-five grandchildren.