We have no idea what to do, however our eyes are on you.
As I sit in my residence in coronavirus-laden China, Im exhausting pressed to think about a greater prayer than that one, uttered by a determined however assured Judean King named Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:12).
The eyes of an anxious world are on this world well being disaster. Corporations and colleges in China are delaying operations. Borders are closing. And in latest days many airways have suspended all journey out and in of this nice nation. As an American who pastors in China, our determination to remain now looks like a transparent burn the ships! second.
Our prayer? We have no idea what to do, however our eyes are on you, Lord.
Jehoshaphats historical perspective is extra apropos for February 2020 than we would assume. In his context, a harmful delegation from Edom was closing in on Judah. However his religion was all-encompassing. He wasnt simply trusting the Lord within the face of potential navy defeat, however for any catastrophe which will come!
If catastrophe comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we are going to stand earlier than this home and earlier than youfor your identify is on this houseand cry out to you in our affliction, and you’ll hear and save. (2 Chron. 20:9, emphasis mine)
Jehoshaphat had a disposition of belief, no matter hazard. Even within the face of pestilence or plague, he cried to God.
And, given the present risk of pandemic, we should study to do the identical. Listed here are 5 features of his trusting in God that may assist us at this time.
1. Belief God along with your fears.
Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to hunt the Lord (2 Chron. 20:3). He wasn’t superhuman; he was regular. The preliminary step of anybody trusting in Gods helpin his day or in oursmust be an admitting of weak point. It might be good drugs proper now to go earlier than the Lord and truthfully inform him how youre doing. Im scared. Im annoyed. Im indignant. Im lonely. Im wounded. Im exhausted.
The purpose of airing our ache isnt to shake a finger at God; it’s to be sincereas we belief him with our deepest considerations.
The purpose of airing our ache isnt to shake a finger at God; it’s to be sincereas we belief him with our deepest considerations. Jehoshaphat chooses to belief the Lord, which is what had been referred to as to as properly. Belief is all the time a alternative. And its one properly need to make over and over.
2. Encourage others to belief God.
After Jehoshaphat seeks God, he proclaims a nationwide quick: And Judah assembled to hunt assist from the Lord; from the cities of Judah they got here to hunt the Lord (2 Chron. 20:4). The king is aware of whence true assist comes, and he leads others to go there for his or her hope as properly.
When everybody round us is freaking out and our neighbors worry the sky is falling, we should remind one another that we serve a loving, merciful, and sovereign God, who’s himself untouched by pestilence or virus (Ps. 91).
As we take our anxieties to the Lord in prayer, we will expertise peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:67). And as we expertise such peace, the counterculturaland usually counterintuitivehope that now we have in Christ is placed on show (1 Pet. 3:15). Our religion, in spite of everything, is private however not non-public.
3. Name out to God.
Jehoshaphat provides a mannequin prayer in verses 512. He appeals to God’s character, his guarantees, and his actions prior to now. The prayer then culminates: [W]e are powerless in opposition to this nice horde that’s coming in opposition to us. We have no idea what to do however our eyes are on you.
You may really feel discouraged as you watch the an infection and loss of life tolls rise. In that case, be part of with Jehoshaphat in declaring that you’re helpless, however your hope is mounted on God Almighty.
Possibly you are feeling that method in mild of nCoV. Maybe you are feeling powerless in opposition to a virus to which you’ll be uncovered even when there are not any seen signs. Possibly your nervousness rises as specialists nonetheless arent positive all of the methods this virus might be transmitted. You may really feel discouraged as you watch the an infection and loss of life tolls rise. In that case, be part of with Jehoshaphat in declaring that you’re helpless, however your hope is mounted on God Almighty.
What number of of our prayers ought to finish with a line like this? That is the posture of the Christian. Enchantment to Gods character, confess your incapacity, and put your eyes on the Lord.
4. Bear in mind Gods salvation.
Within the 2 Chronicles narrative, God responds by sending a prophet to remind Judah that the battle doesnt belong to them; it belongs to God (20:15). They wont even must struggle; they’ll simply sit again and watch his salvation on their behalf (20:17)!
This story is a small instance of an even bigger, non secular battle for everybody in all ages. We’ve got a deadly drawback we will do nothing about on our personal (although we strive!). We should belief one other, as a result of the battle isnt ours to struggle. As we belief the One who can battle on our behalf, had been invited to take a seat again and watch the salvation of the Lord!
The coronavirus could plateau over the subsequent week. Or it might worsen. My household could also be spared from this epidemic, or we could turn out to be a statistic. Nonetheless we glance to Gods salvation! Not as a result of hell essentially show his like to me by defending me from sickness, however as a result of hes already demonstrated his love by sending Christ to die for us whereas we had been nonetheless sinners, in order that whoever believes in him won’t perish however have everlasting life (Rom. 5:8; John 3:16)!
I pray for this virus to be eradicated and for my household to be wholesome, however God is nice no matter what these subsequent weeks carry. I put on a masks open air and wash my fingers steadily, however my hope isnt lastly in these efforts. I need lengthy life for myself and my household, however I additionally know the purpose of life isnt to flee bodily loss of life. Thats a fools errand. The purpose is to be ready when bodily loss of life inevitably comes, glorifying and having fun with God till that day.
Jehoshaphat trusts God, and he leads others in trusting God. However word the tip sport: worship. In 2 Chronicles 2021, earlier than victory had even come, the king leads the folks to reward: And after they started to sing and reward, the Lord set an ambush in opposition to [their enemies], in order that they had been routed (2 Chron. 20:22).
How is that this ultimate scene a part of trusting God? As a result of if God is nice and we all know he might be trusted, we will worship him even amid struggling. We are able to reward him even beneath the specter of hazard. We glorify him at the same time as viruses unfold.
God didnt inform Jehoshaphat to do that. He wasnt instructed by God to name collectively a worship service. Worship isnt a method for getting God to behave; its a response as a result of we all know he has acted and he’ll proceed to behave. That is what it appears to be like like to hunt the Lord.
Worship isnt a method for getting God to behave; its a response as a result of we all know he has acted and he’ll proceed to behave.
The Judeans exit the subsequent day, and their risk is gone. Im not saying God will miraculously clear up all of your issues if youll solely begin worshiping, however I am saying your greatest problemthe drawback of disbeliefwill be solved if youll solely begin worshiping.
Within the face of the coronavirus, could Christians in China and world wide have an unshakeable confidence within the Lordeven after we dont know what comes subsequent.