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Battles in life are inevitable. John 16:33 says, "In this world you will have trouble." Unfortunately, because Satan is allowed to "walk" among us fueling the fires of mahem, we daily face conflict of sundry kinds: cancer or other health concerns, financial worries, marriage disagreements, child rebellion, disfunctional relationships, job insecurities, political unrest, and the list goes on and on. So how do we cope with battles throughout life?
Ezra, the author of 2 Chronicles, relates a story that has resonated in my head the last couple of days and seems to provide the perfect answer to that question. 2 Chronicles was written as an evaluation of the nation of Israel's religious history. At this time Israel was divided in two with Israel as the northern kingdom and Judah the southern kingdom. Jehoshaphat was one of the ruling kings of Judah, whose " heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord." He had "set his heart on seeking God." In chapter 20 we read he hears of an approaching army marching in his direction to wage war on his kingdom. Alarmed he resolves to inquire of the Lord. He calls the people of Israel together to fast and seek the Lord and they come. After Jehoshaphat prays to the Lord the Holy Spirit speaks through a Levite, one of the spiritual leaders of Judah and says,"This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged...For the battle is not yours, but God's... Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you...Do not be afraid. Go out and the Lord will be with you." Then Jehoshaphat appoints men to sing and praise God saying "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever." As they begin to sing and praise God, the Lord sets ambushes and the invading army is defeated by other armies. The men of Judah do not even have to fight but discover the following day a field of dead bodies! They are left to collect the "loot" and praise the Lord!
What can we learn from this story?
1. Go to God first when facing an "enemy"
2. Humbly talk to Him about the problem and ask for His help.
3. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
4. Have faith that the battle is God's.
5. Stand firm and watch God deliver you.
6. Give thanks even before the battle is won.
7. Praise God as you see Him work and always give Him the credit.
I love the word of God as it leads us through life!
Posted by Hunter and Nancy at 4:36 PM