A Word For The Overwhelmed
Contributed by Jordan Wirkkala on Dec 11, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: Our reaction and God’s interaction
"Word for the overwhelmed"
-I would like to begin by telling a story about Pastor Craig (who is out of town today) that will help us open today’s topic.
-We were high up on boom lift working and he is terrified of heights. He will not let me drive because he is afraid that I will go too fast. Starts to sing to calm his nerves, but only heightened mine. I said, “You should be singing ‘Jesus take the wheel’ because I am sure that he would drive faster!”
-He was completely overwhelmed by heights. Overwhelmed is what we talk about today
-We have all been here right? Especially this time of year (Christmas)!
-Webster’s would define “overwhelmed” as: To submerge, to overcome by superior force; to overpower in thought or feeling”
-You would define it as your mortgage payment, your rent, your credit cards, busyness, or family.
-These are the things in our life that take a hold of us, trap our attention and leave us wondering what to do next.
-But I am sure that I do not need to explain that to you because you understand perfectly what it means to be overwhelmed.
-And you will relate to what a king of Judah (named Jehoshaphat) was feeling when he found his kingdom and life in danger
-And, I hope that we can find a way to cope with our own problems as we look to the word.
PRAY……………. Please turn to 2 Chronicles 20:1
-King Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah (870 to 848 BC)
Came from a good line of kings/ father Asa served God
-As a young man, he served God, he built up the defenses of the city and most importantly, he removed the high places. God established his reign
-But, he was not without fault. He made a poor decision in an alliance with Israel that was against God’s will.
Ultimately, we see a very human king, who was capable of mistakes. Maybe like all of us. We want to do the right thing, but sometimes we often make mistakes.
-As we catch up in our text, we see a good king, a faithful king, and a king who (although imperfect) has a heart that seeks after God.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-3 (THE FEAR)
-Have you ever had a moment that changed everything? (A phone call, a confession, a realization) Life goes on like normal, than in an instant, in a moment, life will never be the same.
-C.S. Lewis had a name for this. When his wife died and he was dealing with the an overwhelming sense of grief he wrote, “Nobody ever told me that this would feel so much like fear.”
-Fear, that is what you feel when you are overwhelmed isn’t it? That is what Jehoshaphat felt.
-He is told that an invading army is close, very close, knocking on the front door. There is no time to muster up an army. It is too late, so Jehoshaphat instantly realized that he was faced with a situation that was beyond his control.
-An amazing woman named Corrie Ten Boom was once faced with a situation that was beyond her control. She was a Christian that gave refuge to Jews trying to escape being sent to concentration camps. Later in the war, she was sent to these camps to witness unthinkable cruelty. She was afraid and overwhelmed, but it was the words that her father told her as a little girl that somehow carried her through. They were on a train, when Corrie asked a difficult question. She wanted to know what sex was. Her dad was quiet until they were leaving the train, he said “Corrie can you carry my bag for me?” She could not lift the bag, she said, “it is too heavy”/ “there are things in life that we cannot carry or are not ready to carry, we have to let our father carry them for us”
-Throughout her time in the camp, Corrie would say “father, this is too heavy, I cannot carry it”
-Jehoshaphat was told something that was too heavy for him. He was afraid, but his fear is what brought him closer to God.
READ 2 Chronicles 20:4-9 (THE PRAYER)
-Questions. How often we ask questions to God in our prayers.
-An old Hebrew saying goes like this “We draw closer to God by the questions we ask”.
-Our questions, our deep questions are an attempt to know God more
-Jehoshaphat asks the big questions/ “aren’t you God in heaven? Don’t you rule all nations? Isn’t their power in your hands? Didn’t you give us this land?”
-Jehoshaphat knew the answers to these questions, we all do. He didn’t say these things to remind God, but to remind himself.
-He begins by establishing who God is and what he has done.