Over the past couple of weeks I have been talking about faith. Today I will focus on faith once again, in particular I want to discuss faith when facing a battle. Over the past several weeks everyone across the globe has been facing a battle called COVID-19. Even when we are not facing a pandemic we will still face different battles in our lives. Sometimes they deal with our health, other times they might deal with finances, or perhaps they might deal with relationships. It is important to keep in mind that as Christians, many of our battles come from the devil. So the principles that we apply to one battle, can also be used in another battle.
Today I want to take a close look at King Jehoshaphat. I am not going to cover every verse, so if you want to read the story for yourself, please see 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. King Jehoshaphat was one of the kings of Judah. In this story that we are going to cover, Judah was facing a battle. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat (v 1). As you can imagine, this “alarmed” Jehoshaphat (v 3). But he immediately took action. There are several key steps that Jehoshaphat took which we can learn from.
1 – Seek the Lord
Seeking the Lord is something we should do every day of our lives, in good times and in bad. And it is particularly vital when we are facing a battle. In the case of Jehoshaphat, the Bible tells us that he “resolved to inquire of the Lord” (v 3) and he gathered the people together “to seek help from the Lord” (v 4). And in verse 12 Jehoshaphat said to God, “our eyes are on you.” In our own battles, turning to the Lord first and foremost is essential. No matter what battle you might be facing, you can turn to the Lord in prayer.
2 – Recognize That God Is Your Strength
There will be many things in life that we cannot face on our own. But the good news is that we don’t have to! As Christians, we have the Lord by our side, every step of the way. Jehoshaphat knew this and he didn’t hesitate to rely on the source of his strength. In front of all the people, Jehoshaphat prayed and admitted that “power and might” were in God’s hands (v 6). When we are facing a battle, we can humbly confess to God that we need Him, that He is our provider, and that we cannot face this without Him.
3 – Remember God’s Promises
When we remember God’s promises, this reassures us that He won’t let us down. It reminds us that He will not leave us nor forsake us. This is exactly what Jehoshaphat did. As he prayed to the Lord in front of all the people, one thing he mentioned was that God promised to give the land they were in “forever to the descendants of Abraham” (v 7). Remembering this promise helped Jehoshaphat and the people to know that God would not let them down and would help them in the battle they were facing. The same is true for us. No matter what you might be facing today, I encourage you to find a Bible verse that resonates with your situation. Write it on an index card and carry it with you wherever you go. When you are feeling down about the battle you are in, read the Bible verse and remember that God is by your side.
4 – Recognize That the Battle Belongs to the Lord
As I mentioned earlier, many battles that we face in our lives will come from the enemy. We are told in Ephesians 6: 12 that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In Jehoshaphat’s case, the Spirit of the Lord came on a man named Jahaziel. This man prophesied in front of all the people, encouraging them to not be afraid. But one especially interesting thing that the Lord said to the people through this man was “You will not have to fight this battle” (v 14-17). I think it would do us all good to remember this when we are up against a trying situation. The battle belongs to the Lord and we can trust Him to see us through.
5 – Sing the Lord’s Praises
This next point I absolutely love. Praising the Lord is so important in our daily lives, and especially key when facing a battle. As Jehoshaphat and his men headed towards battle, we read that Jehoshaphat “appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness” (v 21). We should do the same when we are facing something difficult. Praising God not only calms our fears, but it also reminds us of how awesome our God is.
Well, guess what happened next. The armies that were coming up against Jehoshaphat and Judah wound up killing each other. The men of Judah didn’t even have to fight at all, just as they were told. The Bible says that, “When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped” (v 24).
That story is simply amazing. But what is also amazing to me is the faith that Jehoshaphat displayed throughout this story. I think we all can learn from these principles and use them to face difficulties in our own lives as well. This will strengthen our faith and quiet our fears.