Praise is a powerful thing, in times of joy and in times of help, but especially in times of trouble.
A story from 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 shows us the power of praise when facing opposition. King Jehoshaphat was a God-fearing King, facing opposition from Ammon, Moab, and Seir. Likewise, we have three mighty kings that come against us on a regular basis – sin, sorrow, and death. Every Christian will meet these, and sometimes, the opposition will be fierce.
In the case of King Jehoshaphat, powerful foes caused the king to focus on God through fasting. Fasting does not earn God’s blessings (which are given solely through God’s grace), but it does sharpen our focus on God.
As a result, the nation came together in purposeful fellowship: “So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord, and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord” (v. 4).
When we seek God together, He shows up and reveals His true nature. This passage shows us that God is:
- Sovereign: There is no problem too big for Him.
- Steadfast: God has worked miracles in the past, and He will never run out of them.
- Sympathetic: If we cry out to God, He will hear and He will help. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmity.
- Seeing: God knows our situations, our enemies, and our danger. There’s nothing that escapes His notice.
- Saving: “O our God, will You not judge them? 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).
The people of Judah learned that the battle was never theirs to win, but God’s; their part was to join the fight with praise.
Adrian Rogers says, “Praise infuses the energy of God and it confuses the enemy of God. Praise fractures the unity of the enemy and formulates the unity of the believer.”
As a result of the praise and obedience of the people, there was a provided fortune and peaceful future.
Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Apply it to your life
Have you learned to praise God in your problems? Pray, and consider fasting, as you ask God for His guidance. Remember: the battle is the Lord’s; your part is to praise.
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