Do you know someone who is a drama magnet? As soon as something happens to him, the drama begins…it ruins his day, his week, his life. But this is obviously not the truth, only one perspective of the situation. The way we respond to trials is directly related to the information on which we focus.
We have been learning throughout this series that worship is a spontaneous response of respect at the revelation of God. This is true even in the face of fear, trials, or discouragement. When we respond to a situation by worshiping the Lord, then we will not be shaken.
When we respond to a situation by worshiping the Lord, then we will not be shaken.
Think about a recent trial you have faced. When the trial came, you received two sets of information: the devil’s lies and God’s truth. The devils lies appear as fearful information in your head—I’ll never get another good job, I’m only going to fail, I’m going to be broke, I’m never going to get married or have a family, etc. He wants you ever-focused on your weaknesses and limitations to discourage and mislead you. If you drink in this perspective, you are allowing Satan to control you and kill your hope.
But information about a situation is different than truth. God desires you to worship Him according to the truth He has given you in His Word. So what is the truth? It is a focus on who God is, how He has been faithful in the past, and how He has promised to love and never leave you in the future. His truth is prevailing, lie-scattering, and eternal.
When you respond to a crisis by focusing on the truth of God and worshiping Him in the face of fear, He can teach you a lesson and stretch you into maturity in Christ; suddenly the burden changes, your perspective changes, and your reaction to your trial is completely different (and drama-free).
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
In today’s passage from 2 Chronicles 20, the King of Judah, Jehoshaphat, receives word that “a great multitude” (v. 2) of three tribes is about to attack His people. What is his response when he hears the news?
- He gathers his people so they may hear. (v. 5)
- He speaks the truth of God’s character.
"O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” (v. 6)
- He acknowledges God’s past faithfulness.
“Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?" (v. 7)
- He asks God to intervene on their behalf.
“…here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. O our God, will You not judge them?" (v. 11-12)
- He acknowledges his own weakness and the power of God.
"For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (v. 12)
God responds by speaking through a prophet, instructing his people not to be afraid. He says the battle is not theirs, but His. They should position themselves, but they will not need to fight because He will be with them. (v. 14-17) God honors His promise the next day by confusing the enemy. They attack one another and are defeated.
So what can we learn from Jehoshaphat’s worshipful response to a devastating crisis?
1. Worship places the battle in the Lord’s hands. 2 Chronicles 20:12-17
Your view of a situation is extremely limited, but God sees it all. Not only does He understand how you feel in your predicament, but He knows the thoughts and hearts of everyone involved. He has a plan and unlimited resources.
When you turn to the Lord in praise, He can now reveal things to you and restore your hope. Maybe you did make a mistake that caused you to lose something important to you, but it’s not the end of the world. God can teach you through your errors and He is ready to write another chapter of your life.
2. Worship reminds Satan of his weakness before God. Ephesians 6:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 10:4
Satan may have little victories on this earth, but you can still praise God, knowing that in the end, Satan is defeated; Jesus has already conquered death. God wins the war, and Satan knows it. This is why in Matthew 4, Jesus battles Satan by saying, “It is written…” He models for us that God’s truth is Satan’s weakness. It eternally scatters his lies and thwarts his evil intentions.
3. Worship reminds our hearts of our real hope. 2 Chronicles 20:12-17
Worship acknowledges our reliance on God and aligns us with God. Remember, God plus you equals a majority!
You may well feel discouraged about a situation if you are relying solely on your own power. But it’s not about you! Can you make your heart continue beating? You’re not even in control of your own body, much less your life. Your real hope is not in yourself or in any person, but in the Lord.
4. Worship must take place before, during and after the battle. 2 Chronicles 20:18, 22, 28; Ephesians 6:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 10:4
Practice a heart of worship day and night. Learn to walk with Him each moment and see things as He does before disaster strikes. Then when a trial comes, your heart will automatically go to God, trust in His faithful character, and be ready to adopt His viewpoint.
In the midst of trial, worship admits your weakness and God’s strength. It’s much better to hope in the God who actually has the power to change hearts and change situations than to rely on your own limited perspective and power. In this way, you show God that you anticipate His help.
When the trial has passed, don’t just walk away like nothing happened! Acknowledge God’s intervention, His favor toward you, and the love He has for you. Give thanks and praise His name!