Despairing Servants of the God of Life

Discussion questions:

1. This passage shows us many reasons we fall into despair. The first is that we confuse the battle for the war. How have you done this recently? What biblical truths will help you find joy when you are in the valley as well as on the mountain top?

2. Think about God’s answer to Elijah’s death wish in vv. 5-8. What is surprising about how God responds? How does this challenge your own view of God’s compassion? How might it shape your compassion toward others?

3. Elijah is running from his calling, and not just physically. Review his complaint in v. 10. What are the elements of self-righteousness, self-pity, and self-importance? How might your complaining be a way of running from God’s call on your life? How can the gospel reorient your perspective?

4. Discuss from the passage the difference between God’s powerful ways and his quiet ways. Are there ways, like Elijah, that you are neglecting the latter? How can you apply to yourself Provan’s comment that “Elijah must be content with being part of the plan and not the plan itself”?