Friday, March 15, 2024

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer of Faith in Crisis

Friday, March 15, 2024

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer of Faith in Crisis - 2 Chronicles 20:6–12   Submitted by Kay Crumley

When was the last time you faced a crisis? For some it may be now, for others, life may be running rather smoothly presently. We are faced challenges in our lives, some that escalate to crisis. Where do you go during those trying times? Do you look to finances, family, medical professionals, or other trusted advisors? Our ‘go to’ should be God, He is the Master over all and hears our cries for help. He will direct our way to manage the crisis and give us peace in the middle of the difficulty.  


This chapter opens with King Jehoshaphat learning there are three armies coming to town to destroy Judah. His first reaction is to call the whole nation together to fast and to seek God for help. We see he stood before the people of Judah and prayed the prayer in verse 6-12. He begins by remembering all that God has done for them in the past. He describes how God’s power was too much to stop invaders and how He was able to give the land to the people of Israel. They built places of worship to God trusting that whatever might come against them He is able to save them. How did he learn to have that confidence? His faith grew as he witnessed God’s protection and provision in the past. Faith is something we must exercise for it to grow. We practice taking our cares and concerns to Him and watch as He provides answers. We experience trusting Him by placing our trust in His goodness. Just as we build muscle strength and endurance by exercising regularly, we must regularly pray to Him and practice trusting Him to answer. Each time we see Him answer, our faith grows. 


5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard6 and said: 

Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.7 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?8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying,9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 


That brings him to the present situation, after he had recalled how God had acted in the past. He cries out to God, are you going to help us NOW? We were gracious to them in the past, at your command, and now they are attacking us. We and almost here Jehoshaphat’s frustration. We have done all you told us to do and yet the enemies are attacking us anyway. HELP! He sees that he is helpless to withstand the attack but believes that God can overcome the enemy and protect His people. 


10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.12 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.” 


This feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is common to all of us when we see no solution to the circumstances we are facing. The answer is there in the last phrase of verse 12, our eyes are on YouThe hymn ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ comes to mind. The chorus is “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” He is the light of the world, light overcomes darkness. We must take our focus off the situation and put our focus and trust solely in Him.  


That is what this King did as did all the people of Israel. Then the Spirit of God spoke to Jahaziel, a priest, and gave him this message from God.  

2 Chronicles 20:15 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. 


When we feel trapped in darkness, look to God in faith and ask Him to act. Living by faith is like following a rope that leads us out of the darkness. He will fight our battles if only we will place our faith completely in Him in every crisis of life. 

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