2 Chronicles 20:10-30
Jay Sanders, pastor
Towaliga Baptist Church, Jackson
We have to be careful when studying a passage like this at this time of year. If we’re not careful, we’ll give in to the tendency to somehow make this about America. We’ll tell ourselves, “If we could just be bold and believe like Jehoshaphat did, we can make America great again.”
This passage is not a guide to making America great again. It is about a God who has always been great and will always be worthy of our praise, no matter what happens.
If we find it difficult to give God praise when things aren’t necessarily going our way, it could be that we are worshipping God’s blessings rather than God himself. This week’s passage reminds us that circumstances change but the God over this circumstances never changes.
No matter what you are going through, God is still good and you still have reasons to praise Him. Sometimes those reasons show up in peculiar ways.
Thank God for your weakness – 2 Chronicles 20:10-12
We would all do well to learn from Jehoshaphat’s prayer. There is no pretense. He doesn’t demand anything from God. He’s not trying to impress anyone. He’s just honest. We are weak. We cannot help ourselves. We are looking to you to save us.
None of us likes having our weaknesses exposed. But it is through those weaknesses that we often become more acquainted with the goodness of God. Job, through his struggles, grew deeper in his devotion to God. Paul, while enduring a thorn in the flesh, came to know the all-sufficient grace of Jesus Christ in a new way.
Are you suffering? If so, don’t stop thanking God. He could be making himself known to you in ways that you otherwise would never notice. Just keep your eyes on him.
Thank God for frightening situations – 2 Chronicles 20:14-17
We do everything we can to avoid frightening situations. That’s why we have alarms on our cars and our homes. But no amount of security can completely remove fear from our lives. At some point, we will all experience some measure of fear.
We have a few choices when fear invades our lives. We can cower and allow it to control us or we can use it as an opportunity to trust God. Throughout Scripture, we are repeatedly told to not be afraid. But that command never comes in isolation. It is usually followed with a reminder of God’s presence.
God never promised that your life would be free of frightening scenarios. He did promise that He would always be with you. So the next time fear comes your way, thank God. What Satan would like to use to control you, God is using to remind you of his great love and presence.
Thank God when you’re tempted to doubt – 2 Chronicles 20:20-22
I’m afraid that we have it backwards. We don’t have a problem praising God it’s just that we need our reasons. In this passage, it’s different. God’s people sing their praises even before they get the victory.
It’s easy to doubt. Satan likes to trick us into believing that we are all on our own and that everything is going to fall apart. He is the master of doubt. When his fiery darts of doubt come your way, resist by singing praise to God for his great faithfulness.
We do not sing praise in order to get our way. We sing because we know that God always gets his way and his way is always best.
Thank God for fighting on your behalf – 2 Chronicles 20:29-30
When we read the Old Testament, it’s important that we look for Christ. He is very present in these verses. He is the Mighty Warrior who fights for us. His is the kingdom that we await where peace and quiet replace war and chaos.
In Him we have rest from the work of trying to please God and resist the devil on our own. Jehoshaphat was a great leader but he was not perfect and his kingdom did not last. But the One who fights on our behalf has assured us of a perfect kingdom under His perfect rule.