“Let your life reflect the faith you have in God,” wrote American journalist Germany Kent. “Fear nothing and pray about everything. Be strong, trust God’s word, and trust the process.”
Faith and trust go together. Both by definition and application. You can’t have one without the other.
In our VBS today at Wellandport, we will be studying a great example of faith and trust overcoming fear. The theme for our adult class is “Facing Life With Faith.” As we study the lesson, “Faith: The Challenge to Trust” we are considering the example of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah who was facing an invasion from the armies of Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites.
The Bible says that Jehoshaphat“was afraid” but “set his face to seek the Lord.” He proclaimed a national fast, assembled the people together and called upon God with a powerful prayer that concluded with these words:
“O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chron. 20:12)
Note three great lessons we learn about trust from this text.
(1) “We are powerless.”
The King was facing a difficult situation. Although Judah had its own army of valiant warriors, Jehoshaphat was not relying on physical prowess alone. Perhaps he remembered David’s words in Psalm 20:7. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
That’s a great lesson for us today. Too often we rely solely on our own resources to solve a problem, defeat a temptation, or overcome a trial with which we’re struggling.
Without God’s power, we are powerless.
(2) “We do not know what to do.”
That’s an incredible admission from the King and Commander in Chief. Apparently, the great multitude marching toward Judah overwhelmed Jehoshaphat. He was alarmed. He feared for the safety of his people. And didn’t have an immediate answer.
Life’s challenges can leave us feeling empty, impotent, and inadequate. Marriages can get in such a mess that we don’t what know to do. Our children face 21st-century challenges unknown to previous generations. Sometimes parents wring their hands and just don’t know what to do. Problems in our local churches can leave us scratching our heads and wondering what to do and where to turn.
(3) “Our Eyes are on You.”
Jehoshaphat, however, knew that he needed to “seek the Lord.” While he did not know the answers to the current crisis, be trusted Jehovah for help. For a solution. For deliverance.
Jehovah answered Jehoshaphat’s prayer with these comforting words: “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…and the Lord will be with you.”
Jehoshaphat teaches us great lessons about humility in approaching God, the admission of our weakness, and the power of God to deliver us. It’s all about trust.
It is ironic that our national motto in the United States is “In God We Trust.” Yet, too often we only give lip service to trusting God rather than really trusting Him with our problems and challenges.
Some Christians seem to think the answers to our nation’s problems will be solved by electing the right person to political office. The underlying problem of our society today is sin. It is a failure to remember God. Seek His face. Obey His Word. And trust in His Divine Providence.
It is well to remember that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal”(2 Cor.10:4). That the power to change people’s lives is found in “the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). And that regardless of how much it seems that Satan has the upper hand, God’s cause will be victorious.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman