Is there a storm brewing in your life? Has it already unleashed all of its fury, or are the winds just now picking up? Yesterday we talked about Praising the Lord in our storms. Let’s add to that thought and understand that He is our help in troubles, and our refuge; and He sometimes uses the storms in our lives to change us or just to be able to recognize the good times from dangerous times. If we don’t experience the valleys, how will we appreciate the mountain tops? If an eagle wants to soar in the sky, it needs a storm to provide wind currents to lift it into heights it could not otherwise achieve on its own. If we want to soar higher in our personal relationship with the Lord, we might also need storms.
We can be confident in the Lord, who is our light and salvation and the stronghold of our life (Ps. 27:1-3); that He will keep safe under His shelter (Ps. 27:5). This is illustrated when the Lord delivered the Israelites from the Pharoah’s army after Pharoah changed his mind about letting the Israelites go (Ex. 14:5-31).
The Israelites were afraid as they saw the approaching army, and Moses erroneously told them to be still, stand firm and that the Lord would fight for them, but the Lord had a different plan, requiring them to walk by faith. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharoah and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharoah, his chariots and his horsemen.’” (Ex. 14:15-18) They walked in faith, and the Lord did just what He said He would do. “And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.” (Ex. 14:31)
We can be confident that the Lord is our ever-present help in trouble. We can be confident that He is the Lord Almighty and is our fortress and will be exalted (Ps. 46:1-3, 9-11). This was illustrated when the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites came to wage war against King Jehoshaphat of Judah and his army (2 Chron. 20:1-22). What was Jehoshaphat’s response? “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 Chron. 20:3-4)
Notice he didn’t scheme with his generals first and then ask the Lord to bless their plan. No, he humbly went straight to the Lord for direction. And then he prayed to the Lord in front of the assembly at the temple (2 Chron. 20:5-14), and the Lord heard their plea. “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. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (2 Chron. 20:15, 17) Again He asked them to walk in faith.
Then Jehoshaphat bowed down with all the people in worship before the Lord, and then singing and praising commenced. This is a perfect example of praising the Lord in our storms. In the morning he reminded everyone to uphold their faith in the Lord and to sing praises to the Lord as they went out. “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.” (v 22)
Our storms most assuredly will appear different than these examples of what the Lord has done for those who love Him, but storms will come. Will we seek the Lord or make our own plans? If we want to be confident in the Lord’s refuge, strength, salvation, fortress and receive His ever-present help in trouble, we need to follow Jehoshaphat’s example and turn humbly to the Lord, seek His counsel, and walk by faith in the steps He provides. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21) And then the Lord can lift us to heights that we could not otherwise achieve on our own.