The strength of your faith is often tested when a crisis hits your life. It’s quite easy and comfortable to worship and praise God when things are flowing smoothly for you. But you can be thrown into quite a different spiritual temperature when you are suddenly faced with an unexpected crisis in your life.
But the question is, where do you go when your life is dwindling and falling apart? Where do you turn to when everything around you is crumbling away very quickly? And you look around and everything seems to be in a stagnant mood.
And apparently you don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to fix it. And besides you don’t know where to go for help. Have you ever encountered such a situation in your life?
Life is a journey full of twists and turns and seriously we don’t know how to navigate and negotiate through when suddenly we are faced with an unexpected eventuality. How would you react?
CRISIS WILL LEAD YOU TO SEEK GOD OR LOSE YOURSELF TO THE WORLD
A study was carried out and it shows many people found God in the midst of their crisis. I am not sure if you would defer with this findings? But the fact of the matter is that when you are confronted with a situation that is totally impossible for you to handle. When you come to a point in your life that you are hitting bricks then you will need somebody beyond the intellect to rescue you. You are forced to look for somebody beyond and outside of human ability to fix your problem. Here is what we all need to understand. I am not sure about you but I can tell you for sure, nothing will make you seek the Lord for help than when you are in a crisis. I suppose even an ‘ atheists ‘will cry out to God in such a situation. But most of the time what we humans do is that we turn to the world in desperate times for a quick fix. We chase human ideas and philosophy to seek a solution to our problem and instead of solving the crisis we sink deeper into the crisis. It’s very sad that throughout history humans always want to learn their lessons through painful experience.
When you are sailing on smooth seas, you think you are the king of the sea. When you are healthy and strong you think you will live forever.
HOW DID A KING REACT TO A CRISIS
It’s interesting to find how King Jehoshaphat in 2 Cho:20 reacted in the midst of his crisis.
King Jehoshaphat apparently is faced with a big problem. Verse 1, the scripture says someone came and reported to Jehoshaphat “a great multitude” is coming to attack him beyond the seas. In other words there is big army of warriors that is coming to invade his nation.
Verse 3, says, King Jehoshaphat became (1) afraid and (2) he turned to seek the Lord. Jehoshaphat is in a crisis. He is now being extremely worried, he realises a great army is coming after him and he is outnumbered and powerless to face them.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A CRISIS
You know what? When you are in a crisis life is overwhelming. Everywhere you look there seems to be a problem. When you are in a crisis you will be facing one problem after another. Everything will go chaotic when you are in such a situation.
(1)A crisis produces fear. (2) A crisis produces insecurity. (3) A crisis produces trauma. (4) A crisis produces terror.
Crisis can come to us in various forms.
(1)There may be financial crisis. Things to do with your job, your mortgage unable to cope with your commitments
(2) They may be emotional crisis. When a heart is broken
(3) There maybe work crisis. Pressures of life both at work and home
(4) There may be health crisis. A sudden unexpected event to your health.
(5)There maybe relational crisis. A marriage breakdown. And so forth.
FEAR WILL PARALYZE YOU AND DRAW YOU TO GOD IN A CRISIS
In this entire crisis you will notice one common denominator! One common scenario! That all of us will be confronted instantly and that is FEAR. FEAR will FREEZE you in such a situation. You will not know what to do and how to solve the problem. Because FEAR will affect your mental equilibrium to think sanely.
Jehoshaphat prays and talks to God intimately in Verse 12: Oh God, will you not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude (army) that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do “but our eyes are fixed upon you.” Here King Jehoshaphat was recalling the covenant God made to Abraham. He is saying is it fair that this inheritance you gave to us can be overrun by the enemy? ( paraphrased )
He turned his attention to seek The Lord and proclaim a fast throughout all of Judah.
You know what? God allows crisis or God endorses crisis sometimes, so that He can make you to understand that in the midst of your overwhelming crisis. (1) In the midst of your fears. (2) In the midst of your helplessness and hopelessness that you will ultimately realise (3)! God alone is God. He is sovereign! He rules!
“Be still and know that I am God” ( Psalm 46:10)
In God’s economy you need to understand one thing. To trust in The Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own wisdom. (Prov.3:5)
IN A CRISIS IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD ANYMORE
You see it’s one thing to know God in theory. It’s quite another thing to know him in reality.
In a crisis it’s not your information and knowledge of God that is going to work out for you. In a crisis you need your personal experience, your personal relationship with your living God that is going to carry you through.
Listen! Your intellectual knowledge of God is not going to get you ‘there’ in a crisis. Your living relationship and experience with God is the only hope for you in a crisis.
So King Jehoshaphat sets his face towards God to seek the Lord. He then calls for the gathering of his nation and declares a fast in the midst of a crisis. Because his nation has come under attack.
I want you understand something here. King Jehoshaphat was not a perfect man. He had some flaws in him. At the same time he also had some good in him as well that he turned from his wicked deeds to seek the Lord despite the wrongs he did.
Notice, God did not allow Jehoshaphat to be destroyed despite the wickedness he did previously but He showed grace upon him. God sends a prophet to him saying even thou you transgressed and made some mistakes however, you are a good man. I see you have done some good things; you have removed the wooden images. You have got rid of idolatry and you have decided to seek The Lord (2 Cho.19:3)
In the case of King Jehoshaphat God saw there was still some good in him that is worth saving; that is worth salvaging.
The problem with most of our mindset is that WE ALLOW OUR PAST FAILURES AND MISTAKES TO CONCLUDE OUR FUTURE. Listen, you past doesn’t define your future. Every mistake and failure is one step of struggle nearer to knowing how compassionate and merciful God is to you. This is an experience that you learn as you journey with the Lord.
THE LORD APPEARS TO SOLOMON WITH A PROMISE AND A CONDITION
I want to draw your attention to:
Look at 2 Cho. 6:34 when Solomon dedicates the temple. Solomon prays this prayer of dedication in verse 34; Solomon prays to God! He calls upon God! When your people go out to battle. Hear from heaven their prayer and supplication and maintain their cause.
The reason king Jehoshaphat seeks the Lord in chapter 20 as he remembers what was promised and prayed when the temple was dedicated to the Lord. He recalls the prayer of dedication of the temple and the promise that God made to Solomon.
The Lord answered Solomon: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
(2 Cho. 7:14) If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
God will hear your prayers and react seriously to your situation. God will not bring his wrath down upon you, if you are willing to turn away from your wrongs, restitute and seek Him for help.
“He is good;
his love endures forever.”
Note: Rev Dr Jai Kumar is an ordained & licensed minister of Covenant Ministries International N.J. USA. He is a mission minded pastor who carries an apostolic anointing who preaches and teaches an uncompromising gospel with boldness. A member of ECCM (Malaysia) Spiritual Adviser & overseer to various ministries and churches. An itinerant speaker. He is also the author of a book entitled, ‘God’s Time Clock.’ Currently he worships at C3 Subang.
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Rev Dr Jai Kumar