Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendour 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 20:21b-22, NIV*
The attacking armies were overwhelming. King Jehoshapat cried out to God for help and received one of God’s more dramatic answers:
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…. (2 Chronicles 20:15b, 17a, NIV*)
I love this story. Jehoshaphat led the army out with praise, trusting God to keep His promise.
We don’t often know when a crisis is approaching, and even then God rarely tells us what He’s going to do and how it’ll turn out. But we can know He’s always with us, at work and in control.
What if we went into each day, each situation, with praise going ahead of us? Expecting to see God working, even when we don’t know how or where?
As Violet Nesdoly said recently at Other Food: Daily Devos, “let’s position ourselves under the spout of God’s blessing … no matter what our situation looks like on the outside.” (see the full post: “God’s Blessings, Man’s Defraudings”)
God promised to never leave nor forsake us. We can go forward in confident praise and trust that He’s working—whether we see it or not doesn’t change the fact of His active presence.
I suspect that, in the looking, we might be more likely to see Him at work and to respond with gratitude.
God who saves and shepherds us, help me rely on Your grace and power. Whether I see trouble approaching or think I’m safe, help me remember that You are with me. Help me trust Your plan. Train my spirit to step out in praise and to recognize and give thanks for Your touch.
Here’s Don Francisco’s song about Jehoshaphat. You can take the catchy praise chorus into your day and be blessed.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thanks, Janet. Well thought, well said. I have taken it to heart. 🙂
Thanks, Sheila! It really got me thinking.
Janet, I love this story too. Thanks for the reminder of how important praise is. And how totally justified it is, too! I’m going into my morning better prepared because of this post.
Ginny, my aim now is to start each day with praise and expectancy… not for anything in particular, but for whatever God is doing. Here’s hoping it becomes a habit!