As we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church, Linda Abercrombie shared testimony in observation of International Bereaved Mother's Day always held the first Sunday of May before Mother's Day. In Matthew 5:4, Jesus tells us, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Doug Cory greeted the congregation, and special prayers of healing were requested for Frankie, Eva and some unspoken.
Rick Lett taught the adult Sunday school lesson, "Living," a study of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24. The key doctrine from the lesson was "Christians ought to pray and to labor that the kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth." The lesson reminds us that we should treat other church members in a way that brings God honor, pursuing goodness and being thankful."
Tyrel Lett and Rick served as offering attendants. Jerry and Linda sang special praise music, "Farther Along," and congregational hymns included "In the Garden," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano.
Before beginning Sunday's message, our pastor, Mark Hall talked about how God used Jacob's perseverance and how Jacob told God, "I will not let you go until you bless me." He told us that we should come to church with that attitude.
Sunday's message was from 1 Kings 19:1-18, about Elijah the prophet, who prayed to God that it wouldn't rain for three years. At the end of the three years, he went to Mt. Carmel for a revival, prayed, and got ready for it to rain.
"The drought was gone. Elijah had just had the best day of his life and then came gloom and agony in 24 hours. He goes from being the number one guy to suffering discouragement, despair and depression. Depression can hit you even as a Christian. Elijah was a spiritual man who had seen answered prayers and had seen God's miracles, until someone says something that discourages him." 1 Kings 19:3 says, "And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there." Brother Mark said, "That" is something that can steal your joy, enthusiasm, energy and will suck the life out of you. Elijah became consumed by "that" and it became his discouragement. He became discouraged, depressed and disappeared. Misery loves company but despair wants to hide out. Elijah was in that condition so much that he told the Lord to take his life" (1 Kings 19:4).
Brother Mark talked about the spiritual and physical ways to break out of discouragement, depression and despair. "In verses 5-7, scripture tells us that an angel spoke to Elijah and told him to arise and eat. The angel told Elijah to physically get up, eat, rest and get up again because he had things to do. Discouragement will make you eat, and despair will starve you to death."
Brother Mark referred to verses 8-14 as he talked about the spiritual way to get out of depression.
"God asked Elijah what the problem was. God already knew, but Elijah needed to express it to God. God was not in the strong wind, the earthquake or the fire, God was in the gentle voice. When you get tuned into God, you get tuned in to the little things and you will see God in them. You will miss God if you just look for the big things.
"Elijah's problem? Verse 14 tells us that he was lonesome. You can be lonesome even in a crowd. Loneliness can be a huge motivator. God told Elijah to get up and go to work. He had things for him to do. The devil wants you to think you are the only one discouraged, in despair and depressed. God says you aren't the only one. God sent Elijah a friend. Friends are not just met. Sometimes you make a really good friend like Elijah."
In closing, Brother Mark told us that there is no sin in getting where Elijah was. It is only a sin to stay there. God knows what's going on but he wants you to say it and you to hear it and then tell God that you won't let go until He blesses you."
Before our hymn of invitation, Brother Mark asked, "Have you ever asked God to save you? You must believe in Him first. That gets you saved and keeps you saved." David Collingsworth gave the benediction.
We invite you to worship with us next Sunday on Mother's Day as we honor and thank God for our mothers. Everyone is welcome. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m., worship service at 11 a.m., and Wednesday night Bible study at 7 p.m.
The opinions expressed are those of the author.