Suggested Scripture reading – II Chronicles 20:1-30
II Chronicles 20:3
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD”
The message on her voice mail was simple enough. She had visited her doctor a few days ago and now his nurse was asking Mary to come back in to discuss the finding of one of the tests. She had a concern before but now she knew there was trouble. The fear choked her. What would she do if the diagnosis was serious? Now the fear was real.
In II Chronicles 20 the good king Jehoshaphat understood fear. There was a group of armies massing to attack Judah. Scripture states it succinctly. “Jehoshaphat feared.” Jehoshaphat loved God and followed Him faithfully. In this story we discover the things he did in response to his fear that helped him move on victoriously for the Lord. Because of his fear Jehoshaphat “set himself to seek the LORD.” For him, to “seek the Lord” involved praying and fasting. His fear drove him to his knees. His prayer was the cry of a child for his father. Secondly, Jehoshaphat remembered how God had delivered him in the past. “Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel?” (vs. 7a) The logic was that God had preserved him in the past and would certainly not abandon him in this new distress. His testimony was that when he prayed “then thou [God] wilt hear and help.” (vs. 9b) Next, Jehoshaphat claimed a promise of God. In verse 9 he reminds God of Solomon’s prayer In I Kings 8:37-40. There Solomon asked God to hear and answer the prayers of His people as they prayed in the Temple. This promise of God’s help quieted the fear in Jehoshaphat’s heart. Finally, Jehoshaphat simply gave the problem back to God. “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (vs. 12) The battle still loomed before him but he was able to stand and lead his people in the power of God and not under the spirit of his fear.
Mary’s heart was gripped with fear because of the possibility of a serious medical diagnosis. That fear drove her to pray. Her prayer was the cry of a child for her Heavenly Father. As she prayed her Father reminded her of the times in the past when He had delivered her from other fearful problems. She sought the promises of God from the Word of God. He spoke peace to her heart as she read the Bible. Finally, she simply turned the problem over to the Father. It was a problem that was beyond her ability to solve. All she could do was to surrender the problem to Him.
The diagnosis still loomed on her horizon but she found peace to replace the fear. Fear will choke you. Fear will paralyze you. God promises His child peace if you trust it to Him. Therefore;
We need not fear.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and
Supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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