Praising in Troubled Times
2 Chronicles 20:1-13
Praise is a celebration of the Lord, but when we are in trouble, celebrating seems out of place. However, the life of faith is frequently contrary to typical human living. Jehoshaphat faced his difficulty by applauding God’s past work and faithfulness, and by recalling His promises. When we respond in a similar way, we will be able to proceed with courage, too.
The natural human response to troubled times is self-pity, and rehashing the details and repercussions of our problem only makes it seem more threatening. Praise focuses our attention on God instead. If we are looking to Him for aid, then we can’t help but recognize His sovereignty. Every trial that enters our life comes through His permissive will, which means He has complete control. Whatever His reasons for allowing trouble into our life, He is faithful to see us through it.
Recalling the Lord’s mighty acts and focusing on His sovereignty in everyday life reminds us of our dependence upon Him (2 Chron. 20:7-12). The king expected that God would have to intervene because recorded history showed He always acted to rescue His people. Israel’s recognition of her own helplessness is what unleashed God’s full power. When believers try to solve problems independently of the Lord, His work is impeded.
Our praise is limited only by our knowledge. The more we read and study the Bible, the better we understand God’s many attributes and assurances. Then when difficulty comes, we can celebrate His past faithfulness to Christians while awaiting His promised help.
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