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September 26, 2017

Restoring Faith When You Feel Overwhelmed: Part 1

When I am overwhelmed, You alone know the way I should turn….” Psalm 142:3a (NLT)

When King David felt overwhelmed by his enemies and circumstances beyond his control, he cried out to God.  He prayed,

“When I am overwhelmed, You alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.” Psalm 142:3 (NLT)

Have you ever been so overwhelmed you didn’t know what to do?  You didn’t know where to turn?  David’s example left a legacy of faith for a future king and descendant of his to follow that helped him restore faith when he felt overwhelmed.  That king was Jehoshaphat, and his story is one of my favorites in the Old Testament!  He was outnumbered three to one!  In 2 Chronicles 20:2 the Bible says,

“Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar’ (that is En Gedi).”  

Jehoshaphat was overwhelmed!  Maybe you can relate.  You feel outnumbered, under resourced and afraid because you don’t know what to do.  Jehoshaphat was flooded with fear.  In verse 3, the Bible says he was “terrified by the news…” of the vast approaching army!  He was flooded with anxiety as he admitted,

“We do not know what to do….” (Vs. 12b)

In addition, he was flooded with fatigue.  He said,

“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.” (Vs. 12a)

Fear, anxiety and fatigue can leave you feeling overwhelmed as well!  Rather than crumbling under the weight of it all, Jehoshaphat did what his ancestor, King David did.  He cried out to God.  He begged the LORD for guidance and called all of Judah to fast and pray.  The Bible says that all the people of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’S help.

 

“Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD. He prayed, ‘O LORD, God of our ancestors, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against You! … We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.’” 2 Chronicles 20:5, 6, 12 (NLT)

 

To restore faith when we feel overwhelmed, we need to cry out to God and connect with those around us!  Too often, our tendency is to isolate ourselves.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need the support and encouragement of those around you.  You need a prayer partner.  You need a community of faith.  God never called us to be lone-ranger Christians.  The church is the family of God, and faith is as much about belonging as it is about believing. When Jehoshaphat gathered with his people to pray, God answered and restored their faith!  He lifted them from the valley of overwhelmed to the valley of blessing!  The instructions God gave them will help us restore faith when we feel overwhelmed today.  Let’s examine the rest of the chapter this week.