We are taking a look at great men of God who faced situations in life that made them want to give up and die. Most of us know how God worked mightily through Moses. But he got so discouraged when the Israelites were complaining in the wilderness that he said to the Lord in Numbers chapter 11, verse 11, “And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast Thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that Thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?” And then in verses 14 and 15, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in Thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness!” Does that sound at all familiar to you, like anything you have experienced? Have you thought the burden was too heavy for you? Have you ever asked God why He has treated you like this? Have you ever thought it would be better if perhaps He would just take your life?
Then there is Jonah, who when the people of Ninevah repented, and God didn’t do what Jonah had thought was best, he told God, “Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live!” (Jonah 4:3). When God doesn’t do what you think is best, is that the reaction you have, that it is better for you to die than to live?
Jeremiah the prophet actually cursed the day he was born. His sorrow was extremely deep and is reflected by what we read in Jeremiah 20:14 through 18, “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?” Why was I born to see labor and sorrow? Have those same thoughts crossed your mind?
You should realize that if you have ever felt this way, that your life wasn’t worth living, that you never should have been born, you are not alone. In Daniel 7:25 it says that the enemy, “shall wear out the saints of the most High.” Satan will work on us and work on us until he just plain wears us out. He never tires out, even when we do. He’s been doing it for thousands of years to God’s people, and he is working on you.
Even the apostle Paul had a time when he didn’t feel life was worth living. Take a look at 2 Corinthians chapter 1, starting in verse 8 and reading to verse 10: “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.” Yes, even Paul got to the end of his rope. What he was going through was beyond measure, above strength.
Take a moment to think about these men. The devil was successful in making them discouraged; has he been successful with you? Try to keep in mind where these thoughts originate; they are not from God. The men we mentioned were very important to God and to others, and you are too. We will explore this more in future posts.