Escaping The Statesboro Blues “Broom Tree Blues” & Notes
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Escaping The Statesboro Blues “Broom Tree Blues” Believers Statesboro 01-10-16
Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

What Gets You Blue?
Financial Problems, Stressful Relationships, Work Situations, Marriage Issues, People let you down, Raising Children, Incomplete Projects, Time Pressures, Inconsistencies in Your Own Life, Reoccurring Sins, What Appears to be Unanswered Prayer, Threats Made Against You, Spoken Words of Discouragement, Unexpected Crisis, Monotony, Change, World Crisis, The Spiritual State of Our Nation, The Spiritual State of Our World. (Circle the ones that discourage you and/or list some others.)

Victorious Elijah on Mt. Carmel (I King 18 – Tell the Story)

In 1 Kings 18 Elijah has just experienced one of the greatest victories in his life. With Faith and Boldness he challenged the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel! But notice how quickly the blues and discouragement takes over in chapter 19, as a threat is made on his life.

Broom Tree Blues – “Take My Life!”

1 Kings 19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time
tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to
Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a
broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am
no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)

His attitude went from boldness before God to blaming God for his trouble. Fear replaced faith. Power was drained by pity, and disobedience replaced obedience. How quickly things changed!
Sound familiar?

1. The Blues Break Self-image.

I Kings 18:8 “Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.'” (NIV)
I Kings 18:19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (NIV)

I Kings 19:4 “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

2. The Blues Block Responsibility.

I Kings 19:5-9 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

• Even during the blues, God supernaturally took care of him and sustained him.
• You know you are depressed when an Angel feeds you and you blow him off.

7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too
much for you.”

• In the midst of his blues and depression, God still had a journey for Elijah to take.

8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached
Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to
him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NIV)

• What are you doing! Snap out of it! I’ve got more for you!

3. The Blues Blame.

I Kings 19:9-10 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are
you doing here, Elijah?” (NIV) 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. (It’s not my
fault!) The Israelites (they are the ones! It’s their fault!) have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and
put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (NIV)

4. The Blues Blur the Facts.

I Kings 19:11-14 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
I Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel– all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” (NIV)

The Blues Come When…

1. Feel that opportunity for success is gone.

1 Kings 19:4 He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,”
he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)
I Kings 19:10b I am the only one left,
1 Kings 19:14 I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

I tried that and I failed. God has passed me by. I’m too old. I missed my chance. If only I would have done it then… I don’t have enough help. Not enough resources. There is no hope.

“It’s not what happens that determines the major part of our future… What happens, happens to us all…The key is what you do about it. If you do different things in the same circumstances, you will get different results.” Jim Rohn

Our God is the God of a second chance! (And a third, fourth, fifth…) Though we may fall we shall not be utterly cast down. Learn from discouraging life experiences, grow, and let God teach you, and be willing to change as the Lord shows you a better way to handle these situations.
God wants you to experience His kind of success in life!

2. When We Think Only of Ourselves.

Most of the time people who are discouraged or down are inward focused and often times selfish.
Jesus washed the disciple feet in John 13 as an example for us to serve others. He said if you do this, serve others, your life will be blessed.

John 13:13-17 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)

3. Are not immediately successful in our attempts to do something.

Elijah actually got the blues after a very successful adventure, but the blues often comes when we are trying something and run into a road block. We don’t always experience immediate success, yet we don’t quite, we keep going!

Hebrews 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (NIV)

Heb 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

“Every success I know has been reached because the person was able to analyze
defeat and actually profit from it in the next undertaking.” William Marston

“The Successful Man will profit from his mistakes and try again a different way.” Dale Carnegie

4. Lack purpose and a plan.

Inactivity produces discouragement. You seldom see a discouraged activist running to and fro trying to help others.

1 Kings 19:15-17 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you
get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son
of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of
Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.

Not only would Elijah anoint these future leaders, but Elisha would become his successor. BUT God was not through with Elijah yet!

God is not through with us either!
2 Cor 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.(NIV)

How to Escape The Blues

1. If Sin Is The Source of Your Blues, Repent.

Living contrary to your purpose and plan or who you are in Christ Jesus is going to give you the blues.
Pride, Selfish Ambition, Greed, Hatred, Lying, Lust, Sexual Sins, all of these things are unnatural to your Spirit man and will grieve the Holy Spirits presence in your life and cause depression!
2 Cor 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (NIV)

If you are a Christian and you are living in sin you are supposed to be discouraged because you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God who brings you encouragement.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJ)

2. See The Big Picture.

Is it really that bad compared to how bad it could be? Your current problem tends to outweigh all the problems of the world.

It is still morning and the sun is still shinning.

Hold On! A Better Day Is Coming. This too will pass.
Look how close God was to Elijah right in the middle of his broom tree blues!
1 Kings 19:4 He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had
enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)

WARNING Never make any rash or life changing decisions in a state of discouragement or the blues.

3. Trust In The Lord’s Faithfulness, Not Your Feelings.

Ps 37:23-26 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. (NIV)

Ps 43:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)

Lam 3:19-33 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (NIV)

4. Be Around Fellow Believers.

Like Elijah when you are discouraged, depressed, or blue you tend to withdraw.

2 Cor 7:6-7 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. (NIV)

NEXT STEP: This week I will memorize and meditate on Hebrews 10:23-25.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

5. Take Responsibility For Your Feelings.

“God please do something for me to take away my discouragement.”

What more can God do for you? He saved you from Hell. Adopted you as His child. Made you an heir to His kingdom. All that He has is yours. Gives you Love, Joy, Peace, etc. And all of this is given to you here in this world, not to mention the eternal rewards!

Psalms 42:5-6 and 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon– from Mount Mizar.
11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. (NIV)

Eph 5:18-20 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray Thank You Jesus Prayers! Thank Him in the good times. Thank Him in the bad times.

NEXT STEP: This week I will put my hope in God and praise Him in every situation!

Life Group and Family Devotional Application
1. What Gets You Blue? Explain and consider why?

2. Give examples of how Broom Tree Blues – Break Self-image / Block Responsibility / Blame Others / Blur Facts.

3. We learned that The Blues Come When We –Feel that opportunity for success is gone – Think Only of Ourselves – Are not immediately successful in our attempts to do something – Lack purpose and a plan. Which of these Four seem to get to you the most? Why?

4. When people get the blues, why do they do the two worst things possible, stop serving, and avoid fellowship?

5. Share some successful ways you have taken responsibility for your Statesboro Blues!

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