Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are… James 5:17
Most disciples feel completely inadequate to serve God in any capacity. Many times it is simply because we feel that we are not worthy, or perfect enough to serve God. Frankly, we are not perfect. We are undeniably imperfect, and will continue to be imperfect in our current pilgrimage until Christ’s second coming. Yet, the text above shows that even imperfect people “subject to like passions” can serve God in ways above their natural imperfections. Consider the example found in Elijah. He was subject to hunger and exhaustion. He was fed by birds, widows, and angels. He suffered persecution, trials, and affliction. Above all else his depression led him to beg God to take his life.
This type of story is not isolated to Elijah. The Bible shows most of its characters at both their best, and worst. Paul was said to write weighty and powerful letters; but have a weak bodily presence and contemptible speech. He also had an unnamed “thorn in the flesh” that would seemingly be a life long battle. Peter was impulsive and abrupt. James and John were said to be the sons of Thunder, possibly referring to their loud and boisterous demeanor. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. In like manner, there are issues with my own personality that I battled at age 6 to which I still battle at age 31. If my life continues 30 more years then I suspect that I will continue to battle with the same issues. This is true of all disciples.
What comfort can be drawn from this type of message? First, you are not alone. We all struggle and are all people of like passions. Secondly, God can use you to his glory in spite of your infirmities. Actually, we are strongest, most glorifying to him when we realize our own weaknesses and obtain a clearer sense of our dependency on him.
2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Originally published May 2017