The Bible reveals the mighty acts of God in the prophet Elijah’s life; it is a story about how God uses His people for His glory regardless of one’s mental condition or status. With God, no one is disqualified from service. Not even the pastor He calls today will be given a different task—the requirements for ministry have not changed. Pastors and leaders are not exempt from God’s calling, no matter what we are experiencing in life.
The prophet Elijah’s call was not based on ability, but rather his availability. Our inability or insufficiency has never mattered to God; that should be encouraging to us. The Lord told the Apostle Paul in the New Testament that His grace is sufficient in all things. It has always been, and always will be, about God’s greatness and mighty acts done through His people. God is so compassionate to those who serve Him. Jesus truly is a burden lifter, a lover of our souls, and a restorer of failing health.
James says that Elijah was just like us. He suffered from anxiety, despair, unbelief, weakness, loneliness, and lack of human ability. But by living a life of persevering faith and dependence on God’s grace, mercy, power, and presence, God used him to confront the wayward sinful nations while displaying God’s glory and truth.
In Elijah’s day, and now in our day, God still delights to pour His glory into weak vessels of clay like us. It’s not what is happening to us, but rather what God is doing through us for His glory. It’s never about how much God can do for us, but always about how much God can do through us.
As loyal followers of Christ, we must be willing to live for Jesus through times of tribulation as well as times of loneliness (see Acts 14:22, John 16:32, 1 Kings 17:2–7). As followers of Christ, there will be days when we feel depleted and depraved, have dark moments, and even feel worthless at times, when our souls are crying out for immediate help and we, too, need a compassionate, caring spirit to minister to our needs.
The Bible doesn’t cover up or have a hidden agenda about those great women and men who lived during the Bible days. Like us, they experienced both physical and mental conditions while being instructed by God to serve as His servant leaders.
The Bible provides for us a clear picture of those whom the Lord called and chose to use. It gives us the whole story, both the failures and achievements of their life stories. When the Bible describes the great cloud of witnesses of the Old Testament and the New Testament, it tells the unvarnished truth of their struggles in real life ministry, their temptations, their difficulties. We too in ministry have experienced the same struggles and hardships, and we are not exempt from moments of anxiety and depression.
For our benefit, God used them and raised them up during their moments of depression and anxiety. Even today as we fall in ministry because of mental illness, member depression, or anxiety, God will still raise us up to serve Him again despite our previous conditions. God will never leave us nor forsake us. Elijah did not know God was preparing him for his next great adventure