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Videos: Prophet Elijah

July 20, 2010

The Life of St. Elijah aka Elias

Troparion and Kontakion of Prophet Elijah

The Prophet Elijah: Keeping Faith in Troubled Times

A life with God is one of the richest blessings. We can find comfort in our times of sadness, have our joy multiplied when we rejoice, and discover shelter from the storms of our everyday life. However, a life with God is not a guarantee for a life free from trials and tribulations. Even as believing Christians, we must endure suffering as a part of our life.

You might say to yourself, “Why would God let me suffer?” We’re often told that just because we suffer does not mean that there is no God or that God doesn’t care. So then how can a loving God let us experience pain or affliction? The fact is that God loves us so much that we can’t even begin to imagine it. He does not want suffering for us, but we are the ones who created our own suffering through sin. Suffering entered into the world with Adam and Eve, and we continue to choose sin and suffering for our human race today. Through baptism, through prayer, through communion, and through being with God we are made whole again and restored. Some of the great martyrs went to their deaths with joy on their faces, though they were in great pain, because God gave them His Peace and they accepted it!. When we are with God, there is no physical pain or mental anguish that we could fail to endure with joy. If we choose God, we choose joy over all the sadness and misery this world can muster.

Elijah, whom we commemorate on July 20th, was very faithful and endured until the end. He had strong faith in God, and even after years of hardship he still believed and continued to pray that God would answer his prayers and come to his rescue. God found his faith so pleasing that Elijah was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot.

“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’ lest you fall into judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let him pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:10-20)

We must learn from the lesson of Elijah and not believe that God has forsaken us just because we are experiencing times of suffering or hardships. Our sufferings allow us to grow. We learn from them and they shape us into the children of God we are to become.


Kontakion

Prophet Elijah of great renown,
Seer of the mighty works of God
By your command you held back the rain!
Pray for us to the only Lover of mankind!

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