No Matter How Big the Opposition...
And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. II Chronicles 20:15 (KJV)
The Kingdom of Judah was outnumbered by the enemy. The situation looked impossible, but King Jehoshaphat went to the Lord for help. And if you read the entire story, you’ll see that the enemy ended up turning on themselves and slaughtering one another. The children of God didn’t have to do any fighting whatsoever. They simply praised the Lord in the face of danger.
I like how the New International Version (NIV) says it:
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
The phrase “do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army” jumps out at me. there are times when the enemy tries to hit you from every side. He may try to attack your finances, your health, or your relationships- or maybe all of them at once. The devil is subtle- he takes pride in not being obvious about his attacks. He might bring a minor problem with your health, and you begin to fight it with faith in the Word. Then, before you have a chance to breathe, he may try to steal a portion of your finances- maybe it’s an unepxected bill or an appliance breaks down and needs to be fixed. And right after that, he may use the financial situation to strain the relationship between you and your spouse. And then, a problem arises with one of your children. The thing is, the individual attacks appear to be minor, but they are great in number. And that is how the enemy likes to wear down the saints- by piling it up on us.
In the passage of scripture we’re discussing, they were told not to be afraid, dismayed or discouraged because of the size of the opposition. They were to ignore the number of opponents, because God was going to do the fighting. In the same way, when troubles pile up and it seems as though you’re about to be buried by them, look to the Lord. Although it may seem contrary to how you feel, that is the perfect time to praise God for His goodness and mercy. When we show God our trust by praising Him for the victory BEFORE we see it, He moves on our behalf and wins the battle for us.
No matter the number of problems or challenges you face, whether great or small, be encouraged- God is bigger than them all. Don’t let the numbers fool you, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! (I John 4:4)