Where is God?

Posted on · Posted in Prayer, Wisdom, Worldview

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There are times when everything goes wrong all at once. The kids are out of control. There are problems with the car, with the house. You are tired to the bone. You try to pray but it is like God is on a coffee break.  Life gets like this sometimes.

Jehoshaphat had such a moment. However, instead of wondering where God was he turned to the praise of his God. Praise often is the last thing thought about when life becomes crazy.  We associate praise with good times but not so much with the chaotic times. However, praise is always the appropriate attitude of our hearts, regardless of whether times are good, crazy, or awful.  God is still God, he is unchanging, immutable. God is always worthy of your praise. You see, it is not God who is on coffee break, you are.

King Jehoshaphat knew that a vast army was coming to attack Judah.  The invading army was strong and unjust. He knew that he had no ability to defeat them, they were simply too strong and too many. Instead of caving into despair, the king cried out to God (2 Chronicles 20:12):

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.

It is always wise to acknowledge that you don’t know what to do. In the text, we see that God responds to the king’s humble cry for help. God spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite, who said this to the king and all those gathered before him:

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

When we think God is on coffee break — when we wonder where he is — it because we think that the problem is our problem and that we have to solve it in our own strength. Instead, the praise of God is where we must begin when life is crazy and out of control.

Jehoshaphat listened to the Levite. He bowed down before the Lord in worship, and all the people did the same. Then they began to praise the Lord.

I don’t know how God will resolve the particular problems you face when life is overwhelming. But I do know that the answer must begin with humility and praise. Jehoshaphat realized that he must look to God when he had no answers. God answered in a way he could not have imagined.

Humility and praise are practical!  Without these two qualities, you will think the battle is your battle. But the battle is not yours, it is God’s.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.