Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
I have been there. The place where it feels like my prayers are bouncing against the walls and nothing about my situation seems to be changing. I don’t just need my prayers answered; I need breakthrough.
In these situations, I am reminded of the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles:
Some people came and told Jehoshaphat,A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar(that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
2 Chronicles 20:2-3
Jehoshaphat found himself in a dire strait. He was alarmed. He looked around him and saw a vast, undefeatable army. The situation seemed hopeless. But I love what he did next:
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:21-22
When Jehoshaphat came across a hopeless situation, he didn’t wait for God to send the breakthrough; he chose praising God through breakthrough.
To be completely honest, when I feel like my world is falling apart, my first instinct is not usually to praise God. How often do I see situations and give into fear and depression instead of trusting God’s protection?
Sometimes with natural eyes I fail to see that God is working on my behalf in the background. When Jehoshaphat began to praise God for his goodness and love, the Lord won the battle before it had begun.
One of my favorite songs right now is “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)”. The lyrics are so simple but so powerful:
This is how we fight our battles. It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.
When Jehoshaphat saw a vast army surrounding him with his natural eyes, he was really surrounded by the Lord’s protection.
What is surrounding you this week? What situation feels so hopeless that you can’t see any good outcome? Friends, even in those situations, you are surrounded by Christ’s love.
For more resources on this topic, listen to this special message from Julie Bailey on the MercyTalk podcast.