God’s answer based on His will
On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets. The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 20:26-30
There is a common universal belief among Christians that God answers prayers. But this doesn’t mean that everyone will buy in to this belief. There will be those who will be honest enough to admit that there is still doubt that every prayer is really answered by God. The reason to such doubt is that a believer can persistently call upon God and yet get disappointed when they do not receive what they consider a satisfactory answer. The problem is not on God’s unwillingness or inability to respond, but rather what constitutes a satisfactory answer. If we come to God with an inflexible notion as to how God should respond to our prayer, more likely than not, we will not be satisfied to His answer. There is also what we call as the will of God. When Jesus Christ provided a pattern on how His disciples should pray it begins with the premise that the prayer offered will be answered with the understanding that it will be for the accomplishment of His will. “Your kingdom come Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). From our text, King Jehoshaphat fought the war not in a conventional way of fighting a war, but by asking for God’s leading and His will. Supposing he decided that the only satisfactory answer by God to his prayer is by providing the army extra strength for the forthcoming battle, he could have missed the wonder of God’s working in His answer to his prayers. He could have settled by calling a war council, appointed key leaders, ordered his soldier to put on their armor, and take the fighting stance. But God’s solution came totally unexpected: First, he was told to send out the choir singing praises, and then watch the Lord save Israel (v. 21). The reason we become discouraged at times if God’s solution to our problem is contrary to what we prefer. We desire total freedom from physical pain but God’s answer can come by providing an extra measure of grace to endure the hurt. Our willingness to obey whatever His answer to our prayer is the key to experience freedom and be grateful even when His answer is not what we expect. Joseph at first was bitter to his family because he was sold to slavery in Egypt. But his circumstances were used by God to humble his family and he realized that God’s answer to his affliction is to provide him strength so he can endure and in turn bless his family. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (Genesis 50:20). Satisfaction to answer to prayers comes when we are willing to accept His answer for He knows what is best for us.