II Chronicles 20:2-3 (GNT) “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea. Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD.
We will all have to face discouraging news in our lives, how we respond to the news makes the difference.
Have you ever had someone bring you really discouraging news? It was so bad that when you heard it your stomach immediately became upset.
You went into crisis mode. I once had a doctor give me some bad news once about Dad, and another time my Mom that brought such fear upon me, I could hardly stand up.
My parents ultimately transitioned from this life, but looking back now, God has sure been incredible in my life!
This was the situation for King Jehoshaphat. He had just been informed that his country was going to be attacked by an army much larger than his.
However, instead of panicking, he immediately turned to the Lord by calling for a time of fasting and prayer. The people from every town in Judah responded.
Always remember as you submit your life to the Lord, He will fight your battles.
God supernaturally wiped out their enemies that day. They didn’t even have to fight. God caused the enemy to fight themselves.
However, the one thing they did do that began the ambush was when they began to praise God on the battlefield.
“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” (II Chronicles 20:22-23).
In a manner very similar to this, God also gives signs to His overwhelmed and discouraged people. This is an area that is often so personal that few talk about it.
But in my repeated opportunities to talk with people who have lost a husband or wife, a son or daughter, a job, their health, people who are going through great hardship and sometimes are tempted to feel abandoned in life.
I have found that again and again, they tell me of some small but meaningful thing God has done to assure them that what they are enduring is not mere chance but rather part of the wise and loving plan of God.
In my season of the death of parents, I learned of God in a way that has changed my life for the greater.
I have some new genuine relationships, new and fresh perspective on life, and have become a more influential man in my life with family and friendships, this is what I mean by signs.
God does not always spare us the distress because He has a purpose in such things both for ourselves and others.
But the Lord has a way of reassuring us that He has not forgotten. The Lord remembers our distress and has an amazing way of still working all things for the good to those who love Him.
Quote “As I look back at these years, there have been years of great blessings more than I could have asked or ever imagined. At the same time, there have been many challenges and obstacles. There have been very few periods when I have not been facing some kind of battle” #We win #James Baker, Jr. #Instagram #Twitter
Point to ponder
Jehoshaphat immediately did four things in response to discouraging news. He called for prayer, he called for fasting, he asked for God’s strategy, and he began his battle by praising God in the midst of the battle. Hope you are having a great Lent season!
- How do you handle discouraging and life-changing news?
- When do you seek the help of the Lord in your life?
- Have you experienced life’s major disappointments?
- Has the Lord shown you His amazing Grace in your life’s battles?
- What can be learned from Jehoshaphat for your life today?
- When should you use the four things King Jehoshaphat did?
- Where are you in your relationship with the Lord today?
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of March 2019 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Mother Betty Denson, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Mrs. Denise Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Carl and Marguerite Williams, Mr. William Jones, Ms. Evonne Bazemore, Mr. William Wilson, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.