“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b ESV
Sound the Alarm
Growing up in a fire department family, I regularly hung out at my father’s station. While visiting, I often heard the familiar sound of the fire alarm notifying the crew of an emergency. Someone desperately needing their assistance was in danger of losing their home, their life, their family, possibly everything.
My father and his crew were trained to save lives. They responded to calls of fires, accidents, heart attacks, drownings, domestic violence, and assaults. In a moment of panic, the person needed only to dial three numbers, 9-1-1, to receive their assistance. The dispatcher would gather critical information about the situation and then send units to their aid.
Are you looking for how to have faith in times of crisis?
So was it with King Jehoshaphat. As we read his story in the book of 2 Chronicles, we learn that the King of Judah and its residents were in a state of crisis. They would soon be attacked by their enemies who surrounded them.
Faith in Times of Crisis
While we may not face a literal attack from an enemy, most people will experience a life-threatening event at some point in their lives. Sickness, accidents, and natural disasters are a part of living on Planet Earth.
Personally, I’ve experienced my fair share of crises. When you’re the mom of an addicted child, midnight phones calls beckoning you to rush to the hospital or police station keep you in a constant state of high alert. A knock on the door or unexpected text message can evoke feelings of panic. Fear, worry, and dread are ever-present enemies.
Addiction entered our lives unexpectedly. The news that our son was using drugs caught us completely off guard. In shock, we were unprepared to handle the situation. We needed help if we were going to survive this assault on our family.
Have you ever experienced news that rocked your world? The sudden death of a loved one, marital infidelity, or a job loss are just a few examples of life-altering events. When you find yourself in a crisis, you need help, and you need it now. It can be hard to quickly find faith in times of crisis.
King Jehoshaphat was desperate. There was no one to come to his rescue. The King and his people were on their own to face these mighty armies. Or were they?
“Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved to seek the Lord…” 2 Chronicles 20:3 CSB
Developing A Battle Plan
I first discovered these verses in 2 Chronicles 20 during a difficult time in my son’s journey. I was powerless to save him. Nothing I tried worked. All my efforts seemed to make matters worse. By reading them I learned to develop a battle plan for when our family was under attack. They have been my go-to verses ever since.
Let’s explore King Jehoshaphat’s strategic plan and the steps he took during his state of emergency. (See verses 13-22)
- Stay Calm – “he resolved to seek the Lord.” The King was able to stay calm because he knew who to call on during a crisis. Determine in advance not to panic, but to go to the Lord for help.
- Pray and Fast – “he proclaimed a fast for all Judah…” In a crisis, we often cry out, “Lord, help me!” This may be all you can pray for the moment, but at some point, you will need direction from God. A petitioning prayer is how we receive our marching orders.
- Call in the Reinforcement – “(the people) gathered to seek the Lord. They even came from all the cities of Judah to seek him.” In a crisis, do not isolate. Call on trusted friends to pray and seek the Lord on your behalf.
- Acknowledge God’s Authority – “are you not the God who is in heaven, and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand, and no one can stand against you.” Here we see a King and his people acknowledging the Lord’s sovereignty. In a crisis, we need to remember who’s in charge.
- Remember the Lord’s Faithfulness – “Are you not our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land…?” As the King prays, he reminds the Lord of the times he protected and delivered them. If you believe your situation is hopeless, remind yourself of God’s protection in the past and that He will do the same for you today. If you can have faith in times of crisis, you can have faith anytime.
- Determine to Trust God – “If disaster comes on us – sword or judgment, pestilence or famine -we will stand before this temple and before you…We will cry out to you because of our distress, and you will hear and deliver.” In faith, believe that God will answer your prayers no matter how bad things look.
- Submit to God’s Plan – “Our God, will you not judge them? For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you.” This is a favorite verse of mine. Here we see a prayer of desperation, yet resolute hope. Our enemy wants our eyes to be on the situation. Instead, let’s fix our eyes on God and his perfect plan.
- Wait Patiently – “All Judah was standing before the Lord with their dependents, their wives, and their children.” While waiting for God’s answer, be patient. I love this verse. Here we don’t find Judah scattered and divided. We find them united, standing in faith with their families, and in an attitude of expectation.
- Listen Carefully – “and he said, “Listen carefully, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” As the congregation waited, the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel to deliver a word of encouragement. Help is on the way! (See why it’s smart to call in the troops.) Okay, this is also my favorite verse and a message worth waiting for!
- Obey the Lord’s Instructions – “You do not have to fight this battle. (What?!!) Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you… Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” When the Lord gives you a battle plan, be sure to listen and obey. A crisis is not the time to ignore God’s marching orders.
- Worship the Lord – “Then Jehoshaphat knelt low with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord to worship him. Then the Levites…stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel shouting loudly.” Praise Him before you see the victory. In a crisis, the enemy tries to convince us that we need to do more than “just pray.” Remember, the battle is not over, and there is power in prayer, worship, and praise.
This is How We Fight Our Battles
There’s more? Right about now you might be asking God, “Hasn’t this trial gone on long enough?” Having faith in times of crisis doesn’t mean always being strong, it means being strong in your faith in the Lord.
Many crises are trials that seem like they will never end. Just when we reach the point of total exhaustion, the battle intensifies. This bring us to the next phase of our battle plan.
- Believe in the Lord – “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” Now is not the time to start doubting the Lord’s ability to deliver you from the hands of your enemy. When things are heating up, don’t give up. Trust in his word and his promises.
- Give Thanks – “…He appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of his holiness. When they came out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love endures forever.” Did you catch that? It’s not easy to give thanks during a crisis, but that’s just what this amazing ruler did. The praise singers went out before the armed forces. The smell of sweet victory was in the air.
- Rejoice in Victory – “The moment they began their shouts and praises, the Lord set an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir who came to fight against Judah, and they were defeated.” Do you want your enemies of fear and doubt to be defeated? Look to the Lord, for he holds the key to your victory.
I pray that this battle plan will help you like it did me. When implemented, it can carry you through any attack, crisis, or trial you may face. The next time you are in a desperate situation, remember that the Lord is with you. He is only a prayer away.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17
If You Want to Learn More About Faith in Times of Crisis, Here Are A Few Resources:
- Why Should I Pray? The Importance of Prayer
- 3 Crazy Simple Secrets To Developing a Prayer Strategy
- 8 Powerful Reasons That We Can Pray Boldly
Dawn is the founder of The Faith to Flourish ministry for women whose loved ones struggle with addiction. She also has a thriving online Facebook support group called Christian Moms of Addicted Children. With over 30 years of experience in Women’s Ministry, as well as working in the medical field with mainly female patients, Dawn has a unique perspective on the hearts of women.