Read 1 Kings 19: 9-18
And a voice said, "Why are you here, Elijah?"
He replied again, "I have been working very hard for the Lord God of the armies of heaven, but the people have broken their covenant and have torn down your altars; they have killed every one of your prophets except me, and now they are trying to kill me, too."
Then the Lord told him, :Go back by the desert road to Damascus, and when you arrive, anoint Hazael to be king of Syria. Then anoint Jehu (son of Nimshi) to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha (the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah) to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael shall be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu shall be killed by Elisha! And incidentally, there are 7,000 men in Israel who have never bowed to Baal nor kissed him!"
1 Kings 19: 13b - 18 (TLB)
"I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (TLB)
For followers of Christ, it can be lonely in the workplace, school playground, university campus, neighborhood group, or even in our family. When conversations feel unedifying or ungodly and we don't want to laugh at rude jokes or join in gossip, we may feel like outsiders who don't belong.
We see throughout the Bible that declaring our faith can lead to persecution or ridicule. For instance, Elijah felt this way when he stood against the wicked prophets of Baal. Once he defeated them, he was threatened by Queen Jezebel and fled into the wilderness. There Elijah confessed to God that he felt alone in his stand for what was right. God reminded him that there were others who were loyal believers. He was not alone.
Jesus also told his followers that they would have times of loneliness, but he promised that he would never leave or forsake them. The same is true for us. We may have trouble in this world, but we can take courage because Jesus has overcome the world. Christ is with us whatever our circumstances.
Written by Valerie Clark, who lives in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to remember your presence when we feel alone, in Jesus' name. Amen.