And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:3–4
Have you been in a situation where your circumstances appear to be completely hopeless? Where you felt immobilized and overwhelmed by the challenges surrounding you, with no way out or even a temporary respite in sight? Perhaps under the accumulated weight of it all coming against you at once, you feel as if your entire life is spiraling out of control and falling apart.
That is exactly what happened to King Jehoshaphat and the small tribe of Judah when they were besieged on all fronts by three powerful and blood-thirsty armies rapidly advancing toward Jerusalem (2 Chron. 20). With their enemies mercilessly bent on annihilating them and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, they were facing a forlorn and hopeless situation, and it looked as though they were bound for a tragic end.
When Jehoshaphat was informed that a great multitude was coming against him, his first reaction was fear! I don’t know about you, but this gives me hope! I’m so glad that the Word of God gives us an authentic portrait of who Jehoshaphat was.
He wasn’t a valiant warrior king who was always full of faith and endowed with a disproportionate dose of fiery courage, always ready to take down his enemies. No, he was a regular guy. He did what you and I would have done—he panicked.
But what set Jehoshaphat apart was that even when he was fearful, the very first thing he did was to “set himself to seek the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:3). That is something you and I need to learn to do as well whenever we are fearful. Instead of spiraling deeper into the abyss of self-defeat, know that when you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, that is the time you need to set yourself to seek the Lord.
It’s certainly not the time to run away from God or get bitter, angry, frustrated, and disappointed with Him. Hey, God is not the author of your troubles. He is the author and finisher of your faith, victory, and success.
Jehoshaphat shows us that it’s quite all right to experience bouts of fear from time to time. God doesn’t condemn you when you are afraid. But when you receive a negative medical report or some bad news about your family or business, set yourself to seek the Lord. Jesus is your answer! His perfect love for you will cast out all fear.
This devotional is taken from the book 100 Days of Right Believing—Daily Readings from The Power of Right Believing.
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