October 13, 2014

One Step of Faith Makes a World of Difference

This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.  But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

2 Chronicles 20: 15-17 (NLT)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?  The forces against you are too much, and you don’t know what to do. The King in this story can relate to those feelings.  In fact, in verse 12 he prayed, “O our God … We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you!”  He was facing not one but an alliance of three armies coming against him.  He was desperate.  He was in what I call “the valley of overwhelmed.”  You may be there today.  You’re not facing a physical army, but the forces against you threaten to destroy you and forfeit the life God wants for you.  It could be depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, worry, or shame over past regrets.  Maybe it’s your marriage, or another relationship, that’s been broken by hurt and misunderstanding.  Whatever it is, you are feeling alone in the valley of overwhelmed, and you don’t know what to do.  You could be overwhelmed by the huge problems facing our world, like the Ebola crisis or the threat of ISIS, and you feel helpless against such enormous problems.  When we are in the valley of overwhelmed, we think our problems are so big that we can’t make a difference.  But God doesn’t ask us to do something big and great to solve them.  He just asks us to take one step of faith and trust Him.  When we do, we get to see Him do something big and great that will move us from the valley of overwhelmed into the valley of blessing!  This week, we are going to see how to take that step.  I may not know you personally but I know this much about you.  You are either in the valley of overwhelmed, or you will be there one day.  God allows these challenges and problems in our lives to develop our faith and teach us how to grow.  So, whether you are in the valley now or not, God’s Word will offer you practical counsel for what to do.

First, stop fretting and remember God is with you.  Knowing that God is with you changes everything!  Look at verse 17 again.  God says to this King, “Do not be afraid or discouraged.  Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”  Now, add to that the promise in Romans 8:31 that we have in the New Testament.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  God is with you and God is for you!  This means that your greatest obstacle is God’s greatest opportunity to show Himself mighty in your life!  We get overwhelmed when we take God out of the picture.  Remember that God is with you and for you, and every problem will be an opportunity in disguise!  Whatever is overwhelming you right now, give it to God.  Thank Him that, even when you feel alone, He is with you; even when you feel rejected, God is for you!  It will strengthen your faith, in spite of your fears, to take that first step in obeying God, moving you from the valley of overwhelmed into the valley of blessing!