Have you ever been afraid? Have you ever been worried? Have you ever looked at a situation and thought, “This is too much for me to handle and I just don’t know what to do.” At one time or another all of us have faced, or will face, a crisis. Sometimes these occur because of our own misjudgments. Other times circumstances just hit us between the eyes and we’re facing a huge, seemingly unsolvable, problem.
For those of us who are Christ-followers, those of us who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus, these times of trials and testing are opportunities to exercise our faith. But there is the practical matter of the problem. How do we face it? How do we survive? What do we do? I see this exact situation happening to a King of Judah as recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:1-24. Jehoshaphat was in a crisis. He and his kingdom were facing a huge enemy army.
Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram… 2 Chronicles 20:2
Verse 3 tells us his reaction to the crisis – he was “afraid.” I’ve been there, haven’t you? You’re facing a huge problem, a tremendous difficulty. It may be physical. It could be about your family. It might be emotional or even financial – but it looks overwhelming. Then verse 4 tells us that the King and all the people did exactly what you or I do when facing a crisis. They prayed.
I’ve been thinking that by looking at the way Jehoshaphat prays, faces his difficulty, and survives we can see six steps in surviving any crisis of life. Let’s run them down.
Step 1. Ask yourself, “Just who is this God I follow?” Who is He? What is He capable of doing? Can He help me?
and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 2 Chronicles 20:6
Step 2. Examine what God has already done for you in your life. Have you ever experienced His provision, power, and blessing?
“Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 2 Chronicles 20:7
For those of us who have received God’s mercy and Christ’s death on the cross on our behalf in order to provide grace, salvation, and eternal life, this one is an easy one.
Step 3. Ask yourself, “What is my personal commitment to the Lord?”
“Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress…” 2 Chronicles 20:9a
Can you truthfully tell Christ that no matter what comes your way, you will stand in your faith and pray?
Step 4. Ask yourself, “What do I believe?”
… “and You will hear and deliver us.” 2 Chronicles 20:9b
Do you know in your heart that if you go to the Lord, with sincere prayer, He will hear and deliver?”
Step 5. Admit to God that you are unable to fix the problem and ask Him to take over. Tell Him you can’t survive this alone and that you don’t have a clue how to get out of the situation. I love the way Jehoshaphat puts it,
“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do…” 2 Chronicles 20:12a
God loves us to be honest in our prayers. Don’t flower it up. Just tell God you can’t, only He can, and that you just plain don’t know what to do. It’s true isn’t it? So, tell Him.
Step 6. Tell God that He is your only option and you’re looking to Him to show up and do something amazing. Look at the last phrase of the verse,
“…but our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
The book of Psalms puts it this way,
To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He is gracious to us. Psalm 123:1–2
In the New Testament we see these exact instructions,
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… Hebrews 12:2
There’s no one else worth looking to! In any crisis, the first and last place I’ll look for strength, courage, and miraculous action is Jesus. My eyes are always fixed on Him.
At this point you may be thinking, “So what happened?” This ancient king takes these six steps in his crisis – what then? If you look at what God does after Jehoshaphat’s prayer you’ll see what God can do for you in absolutely any problem you might face in life. Let’s just recap by looking at a few verses…
… thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15
‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf,…’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
“… put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” 2 Chronicles 20:20
By reading the rest of the chapter you’ll discover God showed up and provided a miraculous victory over impossible odds. That’s what He does when we come humbly before Him and exercise the 6 steps to surviving a crisis. I’ve experienced it in my life and you can too.
Think about it…