Prayer prompted by inevitable trials
Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’ 2 Chronicles 20:5-9
Whether one believes in God or not, experiencing trials is not an option. Everyone will go through inevitable challenges in life. The difference between a believer and unbeliever is that God will provide guidance and strength to those who believe so that His child can face every difficulty. From our text, Jehoshaphat believes that His God is bigger than any problem he can face. He knows that no matter what the future holds, he can always come to God and bring all his concerns to Him. Just like Jehoshaphat, the moment you encounter a problem, you can be assured that God is aware of what you are going through and He is in control. He promised that no trial is beyond what you can bear and that He will provide for you guidance and direction so that you may be able to stand firm in the midst of your trial (1 Corinthians 10:13). So at the onset of trial, our first response should be to cry out to God and know that He is our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 6:9). Jehoshaphat turned to God and recalled His faithfulness to Abraham and claimed His promise that He will not leave his descendants. He recounted God’s promise to hear them in their prayers and that they can stand in His presence. Prayers recorded in the Scriptures like the one from the text provides for us encouragement that those who call upon the Lord will not be turned away. But when we come to God acknowledge His authority over our lives. Prayer should not be our last option that we remember to come to Him only as an act of desperation. Prayer is expressing our faith at the inception of our circumstances. Do not let your faith falter but in faith seek God and His wisdom. Jehoshaphat can recount God’s faithfulness in the past because he trusted Him even in times of peace and prosperity. Such faith prepared him when crisis came. Time of trials and difficulties are unavoidable but remain steadfast for there is a God who will listen and respond to our prayers.
Noel De Guzman www.my-wbc.com
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