“Do not be afraid! Do not be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 –

How often in Scripture our Lord reminds us to not be afraid or discouraged. Perhaps He knows how prone we are to be both. At times, life can overwhelm us, circumstances can overpower us. Our battles… whether spiritual, physical or emotional… can leave us feeling anxious, powerless or hopeless.

What is the “mighty army” we face in our lives? It is the accumulation of troubles and difficulties which seek to overcome us. These “enemies” can be trials, setbacks, doubts or defeats that build up and appear to take over. We become fearful and discouraged. We believe we have to face this army on our own. Yet victory can only be won in the Lord.

Fear is the lack of faith, while discouragement is the loss of courage or hope. The Lord knows how essential faith and courage are in life. The battles we face every day require these key attributes… faith in God and courage to endure.

One Old Testament king draws upon these keys to victory in battle… faith and courage. King Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, is devoted to the Lord, following in the ways of his forefather, King David. He endeavors to lead his people to seek the Lord with all their hearts.

When enemies from neighboring kingdoms approach Judah with battle in mind, King Jehoshaphat finds his faith faltering, his courage dissipating and his fear rising. He declares a fast for all the people of Judah and seeks the Lord, the One he trusts for help. King Jehoshaphat stands before the temple and all the people… and prays to Yahweh God a prayer for victory.

How can we learn from Jehoshaphat’s prayer of faith and courage to overcome fear and discouragement in our lives?

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.”2 Chronicles 20:6

  • We revere God for His omnipotence

“Did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend?”2 Chronicles 20:7

  • We remember His past victories in our lives

“We will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us.”2 Chronicles 20:9

  • We affirm our trust in His promise to save

“Now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir… coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance.” 2 Chronicles 20:10-11

  • We share with Him the battles we are facing

“Our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.”2 Chronicles 20:12

  • We appeal to His power to overcome our “enemies”

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”2 Chronicles 20:12

  • We proclaim our faith and courage in our Lord

God answers the king’s prayer…

“You will not have to fight this battle… stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”2 Chronicles 20:17

King Jehoshaphat believes God. He calls for singers to praise the Lord in expectation of His promised victory as they set out for battle, singing…

“Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.”2 Chronicles 20:21

Yahweh God goes before Judah and causes their enemies to destroy one another. When King Jehoshaphat and his troops arrive to fight, they see that their battle has already been won by the Lord. They praise God and rejoice in His miraculous victory. Fear of Yahweh God strikes the surrounding nations… and the Lord blesses Judah with peace.

We will at times experience fear and discouragement because of the “enemies” we are facing in our lives. Like King Jehoshaphat, we can pray powerful prayers of faith and courage. We keep our eyes on God… and praise Him for the victories before we see them.

When we stand firm, with unwavering faith and courage, we will see the deliverance of the Lord in our personal battles. Our eyes are upon Him to fight our “enemies” for us. With Him by our sides, we do not succumb to fear or discouragement. For we stake our faith upon His promise to be ever present with us and be our mighty Deliverer.