Have you ever had a moment when you felt like the whole world was coming against you? A moment when reality seemed to be caving in? A moment when justice didn’t seem to be something that was applying to your current situation? A moment that was just plain unfair or “too much to handle” or too overwhelming?
You just don’t know what to do…
You are in good company. Throughout the Bible we read the stories of kings, rulers and ordinary men and women who were met with real tangible obstacles but brought them before God knowing that no obstacle is too great for God to handle. When we look historically at some of the great kings in the Old Testament, King Jehoshaphat was a very powerful King but was well aware of his weakness and that his help and strength came from the Lord.
When the people came and told him about the vast army that was coming against him his first reaction was alarm. He was ‘alarmed.’ But his next response was so significant. His next response was to “inquire of the Lord.” He knew that the problem he was facing was great but that God was greater and he knew that when he didn’t know what to do, that the first thing to do is to cry out to God. So, he gathers all of the people together and in the middle of this assembly he cried out to God. He ends his prayer with an honest confession to the Lord,
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV
How many times have we felt like that? An obstacle arises, a person is coming against us, our loved ones are stricken with an illness, whatever the case may be, we have all or will at some point in our lives experience circumstances that are difficult beyond our comprehension. We do not know how to resolve them. We see them and we are ‘alarmed’ just at Jehoshaphat was alarmed. But let our hearts turn quickly to seek the face of the Lord. While we are alarmed, He is not. While we feel overwhelmed, He does not. While the crisis seems bigger than us, we can rest in knowing that it is not bigger than God.
Oh let our eyes be enlarged and our souls revived again as we get a big view of who God is. Jehoshaphat prayed and as He did he reminded himself of the characteristics of God. In the face of a trial, we can learn to pray with eyes of faith as Jehoshaphat prayed. Here’s what we can learn from his prayer:
God is over all:
“Lord, the God of ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations(v.6).”
Jehoshaphat reminded himself that God is overall all. Seated on high in heaven and ruling over all kingdoms and nations there is nothing and no one that is over God. He reigns over all: past, present and future, He reigns. Knowing that the God we serve is the one true God who reigns over all we need not be troubled a second longer. All things are under His feet.
God is all powerful:
“Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you (v.6).”
We lest not forget that all power is in God’s hand. No authority reigns over Him. He is all powerful and any power that someone has over us has been authorized by God. We can expect that not only will God show up on our behalf but that He is already present, fighting as our Advocate. He will not give us more than we can bear and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Recall the Faithfulness of God:
“Our God did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend (v.7)?”
Jehoshaphat recalled what God had already done in the past and we can do the exact same thing. The truth of the matter is that God has always been and will always be faithful to us. He has already given us everything and yet He continues to answer our prayers and provide for all of our needs. He is faithful. We recall His faithfulness not because He has forgotten but rather to remind ourselves, God was faithful then, He will be faithful again today and tomorrow.
The Battle Belongs to the Lord:
“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.(v. 15-17).’”
God is working on our behalf. Isn’t it amazing how when trouble comes we so quickly forget that the battle is the Lord’s. We think it’s our battle and that we have to figure it out and “get ourselves out of it.” Regardless of whether we got ourselves into a battle or one has come upon us we can still seek the Lord and know that the battle is the Lord’s and deliverance is in His hands. He’s on our side and “if God be for us, who can be against us?”
The Lord is with Us:
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you (v.17).”
No matter where we are and what we’re going through we can be confident in the fact that the Lord is with us. God Himself is with us. Not for one single moment are we ever alone. We do not have to be afraid or discouraged but we can walk confidently in the fact that God is with us and for us. He has our back and does not let us go. In the midst of everything we face He is there with us, holding our hand through the process and acting on our behalf for His glory.
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”
Praise the Lord! Something awesome happens when we begin to praise God. As we worship Him with the words of our mouth we are taking our eyes and hearts off of ourselves and fixing them upon Almighty God. God is always worthy of the praise because of who He is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the One who gave us life. He is the One who sustains us. He is the One who gave His life to redeem us. He loves us with an everlasting love just as we are and there’s nothing we can do to not be loved by Him, hallelujah! There is always a reason to praise Him and no matter what we’re going through, He is worthy of the praise.
In the midst of whatever you’re facing, don’t forget that the King of Glory stands ever near. Our Counselor, Friend, Savior and a very present help in time of needs. Embrace Him and praise His name. He’s walking you through and will sustain you and encourage you. Be of good cheer, the Lord is near. When you don’t know what to pray you can say,“we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”