Daily Devotional December 10
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
How do we respond to discouragement? There is definitely a right way and a wrong way. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, provides us with an example of the right way. 2 Chronicles tells of an incident where King Jehoshaphat needed help; the people of Judah found themselves in a desperate situation. A great army consisting of men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir had assembled and were readying themselves to attack Judah. There is no foreseeable way for King Jehoshaphat and the people to defend themselves against this vast army. To say that Jehoshaphat was discouraged is a bit of an understatement. But, he responds in the best way possible, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him” (2 Chronicles 20:3-4).
As they asked God what they should do, God’s Spirit came upon Jahaziel who spoke words that brought encouragement–God decreed that He had taken Judah’s side and He was going to personally take care of the problem Himself. He explains, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (v.17). God didn’t need them to help, but He wanted them to be there to witness the rescue He was going to engineer on their behalf. Jehoshaphat’s response is an example for all of us to follow. After hearing this word, “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord” (v.18). He didn’t know how God would work this miracle, but he didn’t doubt that He would; and worshiped God for the assurance He had that God would make good on His word.
As it turns out, the allied nations ended up killing one another. In obedience to God’s directions, King Jehoshaphat lead out his army, he “appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever’” (v.21). And in response the Bible tells us that God set out ambushes, which caused the enemy forces to attack and annihilate one another. By the time the king and people come upon the army, all that was left was dead bodies...and so much plunder it took four days to haul it all away.
So what can we learn from King Jehoshaphat when it came to his response to discouragement? When feeling alarmed and anxious it’s time to do serious business with God–pray, fast, trust, praise and worship. We need to take our focus off of ourselves and the situation, and place it firmly on the One who can and will make a way. This does not guarantee that we will never suffer disappointment, but it reminds us of where our hope should be firmly based...not on ourselves, but on our Lord God Almighty!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!