Earlier this week, a friend and I were discussing the general state of the nation, the economy, and the upcoming election. We both had a heavy spirit over the uncertainty of our times. It still amazes me when God confirms in our hearts that our feelings are valid and shows us what to do. This conversation was no exception. We met deliberately to try to sort out some of these feelings. God showed up and guided us to some wisdom that almost immediately lifted our spirits.
We started talking about where God had taken us in His Word this week. I told her about my Wednesday Bible study lesson where depression had overtaken Elijah after God had given him victory over the 450 prophets of Baal. Elijah got depressed. There are many among that list including King David, Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther. That tells me that even Christian giants get unmotivated, downcast, and tired of it all, at times. Anyway, my friend took me to Second Chronicles where she found some good advice for defeating a vast army. We both agreed it felt like we are facing a huge battle, so this felt very applicable. When we are facing a big adversary, there are things we should do that we learn from King Jehoshaphat. I’ll let you read the story but here’s what we noticed: (2 Chronicles 20)
1. Pray. (v. 3)
2. Call a fast and seek the Lord together, believing on His Name. (v. 4)
3. Cry out to Him in your affliction and He will hear and save. (v. 9)
4. Stand before the Lord and wait for His response. (v. 13)
5. Fall to the ground and worship in His presence. (v. 18)
6. Praise Him with a very loud voice. (v. 19)
7. Listen. Believe in the Lord your God. Remain steadfast.(v. 20)
8. Let your praise go out before you, giving thanks before the victory is won. (v. 21)
9. The battle is the Lord’s. (v. 27)
There are some very atypical things about this battle. Ordinarily, you’d put your best soldiers in the front, but Jehoshaphat appointed the Praise Team in the front to go out singing, for he knew the battle had already been won. They fought not with the armor and swords of men but with the artillery of the Lord. And God delivered unto them that day a victory that would have been an impossible feat for man.
For our situation, we agreed that He is calling us to draw nearer, to pray harder, and to fast in some way. In so doing, we find our peace, our victory in Him.
And lastly, and perhaps most importantly for that feeling of depression to lift, Isaiah 61:3 reminds us to put on a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, like a coat, like a shirt. We are to sing or turn on the music and praise Him right now. We do not live in defeat as Christians. It is impossible. Start praising Him today even before the victory. The victory is ours, no matter what. He died for it. It’s already signed sealed and delivered to His Hands.
Just like in Michigan, things have gotten scary here. We are gathering in our sanctuary this afternoon to pray for the future of this great nation. Whatever the outcome – it is time to stand and stand strong for what we believe in, and Who we believe in!!!! Praying….Kathy
Praise instead of despair – I have to remember that!
Beautiful. I wish I had had help like this 12 years ago.
It’s scary these days… especially here in Michigan. I wish I had fasted during this time before election day! Thank you for this wonderful reminder from King Jehoshaphat. I’m Praising Him with you, dear sister!
The Lord gave me those same verses back in the winter when we were facing a decision about my husband’s office. They really spoke to my heart. These are good to pray for the election too. Thanks for sharing…they are great verses to claim and to pray.
What a very nice post, very encouraging.
You have a lovely blog!
this totally blessed me this morning. Thank you. Hopefully I will make the Wednesday lesson this week.
Your post reminds me of a praise song, the chorus is:
I will sing
I will praise
Even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrow and the pain
I will sing
I will praise
Lift my hands to honor you
Because your word is true