I have learnt a great deal of lesson from this piece about “overcoming your problems” by pastor Rick Warren. We all have our unique problems and challenges, as rightly put, “life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent what you do about it”. Therefore the real question is not how insurmountable the problem is, but it is basically what you decide to do, to deal with it and surmount these challenges or problems that you are encountering. This excerpt will give you a great head start.
Bible Character: King Jehoshephat (2 Chronicles 20)
Here are the vital spiritual principles in winning the battles in your life:
IDENTIFY THE ENEMY
- We often think the enemy is a person who is trying to take something from us—our job, our spouse, our money—but very often the enemy is our own attitude.
- It is not so much about the situation that gets us down but our response to the situation.
- Before we can start winning our personal battles, we have to accurately and honestly identify the enemy.
- Notice how Jehoshaphat reacted when he heard that these three nations were coming against him: he was alarmed (v. 3) which is a typical reaction for everyone.
- When we see a big problem, we panic and become unsure of what is going to happen.
ADMIT YOUR INADEQUACIES
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.””- 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV
- He admitted that he can’t do it by himself.
- There is only one kind of person God doesn’t help, someone who doesn’t think he needs help.
- When you admit your inadequacy and ask for help, God can work on it.
- We need to get our eyes focused on the Lord. Too often we have our eyes on everything except the one who can solve our problems.
TAKE IT TO THE LORD
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”- 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 NIV
- King Jehoshephat, on identifying his enemy, took the problems to the Lord in prayer and fast.
- Prayer should always be our first resort and not the last especially when in the midst of life problems.
- He praises God and reminded him of what he did in the past and affirmed that he can still do it today.
RELAX IN FAITH
“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.”- 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV
- Many Christians today are totally worn out because they are trying to fight God’s battles in their own strength.
- If we try to fight God’s battles in our own power, we are sure to be defeated.
Twice in this passage (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17) God instructed Jehoshaphat not to be afraid. The king thought he had every reason in the world to fear—after all, it was three-to-one odds against him. But God said, “Do not be afraid.” Why not? Because God promised to fight the battle for us and with us.
- Has God ever lost a battle? No! Not ever. So you know who is going to win in the end.
- It’s like reading the last chapter of a novel so you can know it is going to end all right, and then going back and relaxing through the story.
- Your problems shrink in size when you turn them over to the Lord.
THANK GOD IN ADVANCE
“Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”- 2 Chronicles 20:18-19 NIV
- There’s power in thankfulness. So after taking it up to God in prayer, thank him in advance for it is a done deal.
~Excerpt From: “God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions” by Rick Warren~