Expecting Too Much From This Life

“But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers’ ” (1 Kings 19:4).

Elijah faithfully declared the Word of God to his generation, and helped to rid Israel of growing Baal worship, at least for a while. He was a man who faithfully served God, but who may have set his sights a bit high as far as results are concerned.

After his triumph on Mount Carmel, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel still practiced Baal worship and did not swerve from their corrupt practices. This probably contributed to Elijah’s discouragement that we read about in 1 Kings 19. As we consider his life at this stage, we can draw some lessons from Elijah’s experience:

1. Do not “over-promise” yourself.
If we’re not careful, we can “commit” God to fulfilling our life’s dream, without considering whether or not it’s His will. Or God may grant us a steady stream of answers, and we think it will never end. But we don’t walk on safe ground when we presume upon the future. Listen to James’ wise words:

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’, yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).

Our own dreams and schemes need to be reverently brought before the throne of grace so that God may show us His best for us.

2. Stick to God’s promises.
God’s promises cannot possibly fail. Rightly interpreted, they fill us with great comfort, joy, and delight. We can rely on them and will see many of them fulfilled in this life. Man may promise many things, and we may promise ourselves much. But God will deliver His perfect will to us as we seek His face. We will not be disappointed in the latter end. We will praise His holy name for displaying His perfect wisdom and plan for our life.

3. Do not try to figure everything out.
God’s plan unfolds at God’s pace, not ours. He operates with the highest wisdom, and will bless the faithful as they trust in God. Many people cannot rest until they solve every puzzle. They want all kinds of specific assurances, but often fail to appreciate God’s general promises designed to thrill our souls.

Bottom line: Let God do the promising, He knows best.

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