Summary: The story of Jehoshaphat gives us some principles for what to do in the day of trouble.
WHEN YOU HAVE A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
INTRO TO TOPIC:
“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard… and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” (Alexander… by Judith Viorst).
• Paul won’t be his best friend anymore; he has to go to the dentist, lima beans for dinner!
• As adults, we find these things laughable, but we don’t laugh when we have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
• Last night I told Liza – “I don’t have a real life illustration.” This morning = van wouldn’t start, vehicle problems, etc. Many people have way worse problems I know.
• What problem, trouble or challenge are you facing in YOUR life today?
• Marriage trouble (divorce?), financial problems (debt, no job), health issues (chronic pain), relationship challenges (loss of a friendship), children (not serving God)
• What do we do when those terrible, horrible days come??
THE BIG IDEA: The story of Jehoshaphat gives us some principles for what to do in the day of trouble.
THE TERRIBLE PROBLEM:
“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude (vast army – NLT) is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar" (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared…” (1 Chron. 20:1-3a, NKJV).
a. You can plan on tests from God. “Scripture assures us over and over again that we will experience trials and testings in our lives – difficult circumstances allowed by the hand of our Father.” (Ron Mehl).
• Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
• “The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.” (Ps. 34:19, NLT).
b. You need to prepare your heart now for those inevitable tests. “Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.” (2 Chron. 19:3).
c. When the tests do come, focus on God’s promises. “Get alone, get a promise, get serious.” (Ron Mehl).
i. What does the Bible say about this situation? “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).
ii. Preach it! Quote Psalm 103: “Forget not His benefits…”
iii. Jesus’ teachings on prayer – if we ask anything…
1. THE HUMBLE PRAYER:
“3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord… 6 and said: "O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? … 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord. (1 Chron. 20:3-4, 6-7, 12-13).
a. Seek the Lord in prayer and fasting (v.3).
b. Remind yourself who God is – powerful and mighty (v.6).
c. Remind yourself of what God has done – in the Bible and your life (v.7).
“When you see God, everything else seems smaller. The situation you face seems less intimidating and overwhelming… If you focus on God, the obstacles will always shrink because of your changed perspective. Our problems and our trials may seem huge to us – mountainous, towering, overwhelming – but they are insignificant to the mighty God of the universe.” (Ron Mehl).
d. Humbly pray for help: “we have no power… nor do we know what to do.” (v.12).
e. Seek Him together with other believers (v.13).