Elijah was afraid and ran for his life . . . He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. (1 Kings 19:3-4)
I find great inspired irony in today’s passage and word of encouragement. The man who would not see death prayed that he might die! God denied Elijah’s request because He had something far better in store for the great prophet. Instead of death, Elijah would be ushered into heaven on a chariot of fire. Ultimately, Elijah did receive what he had prayed for—that he might be taken from this world into the next, where he would enjoy the unbroken presence of his God. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “God does not always answer prayer in kind, though He always does in effect.”
After a great and mighty victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah was now on the run from Jezebel, fearing for his life. This great man of God, who had demonstrated lion-hearted faith, was now so fearful that he thought it best that God would end his life.
Isn’t it a great comfort to you to know that God does not always answer our prayers with a “Yes”? We can all look back over certain periods in our lives and thank God with a full heart that He did not give us what we were asking for at that time. God knows what is best for us. He knows just what we need and just when we need it. Elijah did not die in the way that he asked for. But he did get the fruit of his request when he was ushered into the presence of his God.
Elijah, in his despondent state of mind, was asking for something that was contrary to the will of God. And you and I often do the very same thing. I hope this message will serve as a cosmic comfort to you and as a reminder that your God will always answer your prayers in the best way possible to maximize His glory and your ultimate good. Even when we ask in faith and according to the will of God, His answer often comes in a form that we did not express or expect . . . yet it comes with far greater effect and blessing in our lives.
What have you been asking God for lately? Seek His face and stay on your knees, knowing that His answer is on the way and it will bring to you so much more than you could have ever imagined.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!