It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my life away.—1 Ki. 19:4.
Elijah became afraid when Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him. So he fled to the area of Beer-sheba. He became so discouraged that “he asked that he might die.” What made him feel that way? Elijah was an imperfect man, “a man with feelings like ours.” (Jas. 5:17) Perhaps he felt overwhelmed by stress and physical exhaustion. It seems that Elijah thought that his efforts to promote pure worship had been futile, that nothing in Israel had improved, and that he was the only one still serving Jehovah. (1 Ki. 18:3, 4, 13; 19:10, 14) Jehovah understood Elijah’s feelings and did not scold him for expressing them. Instead, he helped Elijah regain strength. (1 Ki. 19:5-7) Later, Jehovah kindly adjusted Elijah’s thinking by demonstrating His awesome power. Jehovah then pointed out that he still had 7,000 in Israel who refused to worship Baal. (1 Ki. 19:11-18) In practical ways, Jehovah showed Elijah that He loved him. w19.06 15-16 ¶5-6
Be in subjection to the older men. . . . Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones.—1 Pet. 5:5.
Avoid being presumptuous. If we heed the direction we receive from trusted, responsible brothers, we will avoid problems. For example, in a land where the work is under ban, the responsible brothers had directed that the publishers not leave printed literature in the ministry. Yet, a pioneer brother in that location felt that he knew better and distributed literature. What was the result? Shortly after he and some others finished a period of informal witnessing, they were questioned by the police. Apparently, officials had followed them and were able to retrieve the literature they had distributed. What do we learn from this experience? We need to follow direction even if we feel that we know better. Jehovah always blesses us when we cooperate with the brothers whom he has appointed to take the lead among us.—Heb. 13:7, 17. w19.07 12 ¶17
All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.—2 Tim. 3:12.
On the night before our Lord Jesus was put to death, he said that all who choose to be his disciples will be hated. (John 17:14) Up until now, faithful Christian Witnesses of Jehovah have been persecuted by those who oppose true worship. As the end of this system of things draws closer, we expect our enemies to oppose us even more. (Matt. 24:9) How can we prepare ourselves now to face persecution? We do not need to imagine all the things that could happen to us. If we did, we could be overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. We could allow imagined threats to defeat us even before any real test comes. (Prov. 12:25; 17:22) Fear is a powerful weapon that our “adversary, the Devil,” tries to use against us. (1 Pet. 5:8, 9) It is vital, then, that we strengthen our bond with Jehovah and do it now. w19.07 2 ¶1-3