Do you struggle to have faith in hard times? You’re not alone! Even when we are facing trials, God’s word gives us hope!
This week, I can’t help but think of a few people I know who are facing serious trials right now. The odds seem stacked against them, and every time they take a couple of steps forward, they get knocked a few feet back.
It’s hard to have faith in times like that, isn’t it?
You have so many questions and so few answers.
King Jehoshaphat knew exactly how that feels. In 2 Chronicles 20, we find him surrounded by enemies and under attack. The situation seemed hopeless, but Jehoshaphat handled the situation perfectly because he didn’t try to handle it alone.
He sought the Lord.
After calling all the people of Judah together to fast and pray, Jehoshaphat called out to the Lord and asked three very important questions. The answers to these questions showed his faith and strengthened it.
They will do the same for us when we face insurmountable odds.
Question #1: Who is God?
With armies surrounding him, Jehoshaphat stood in the midst of his people, called out to the Lord and said, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven?”(2 Chronicles 20:6)
The very first question he asked was “Who is God?”
You might wonder why, but Jehoshaphat’s answer makes it clear. He went on to say, “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)
You see, Jehoshaphat knew exactly who God was – the ruler of all things.
The situation he was facing was not beyond the power of God to intervene.
He just needed to remember that, and when you’re facing a trial, so do you.
Jehoshaphat knew that God was more powerful than the armies around him. He asked the question, and the answer affirmed his faith.
Stop and think for a moment how your situation can be affected by the fact that God is full of power and in control? When you think of his power and might, does your outlook become an uplook?
Question #2: What has God done?
When we stop to think of who God is, we often find ourselves focusing on what God’s done. Jehoshaphat did the same thing. In verse 7, he said, “Our God, 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)
Jehoshaphat remembered what God had already done on Israel’s behalf. He had already defeated all of Israel’s enemies and given the land to them. Why would he not protect them and the land they’d been given?
In times of doubt or fear, I find one of the best ways to have faith is not to look forward in fear but to look back in wonder, to recount the deeds of the Lord on my behalf. We see the Israelites do it time and again in the Old Testament.
Remembering what God has done in the past gives us faith to face the future.Remembering what God has done in the past gives us faith to face the future.Click To Tweet
If you are facing a trial right now, stop and remember how the Lord has provided in the past. Has he protected you? Healed you? Walked with you on a hard path? Comforted you?
The God who has done those things hasn’t changed one bit. He still does them today. After all, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Maybe you haven’t walked with him very long and don’t have a long list of testimonies to recall. That’s ok. The Bible is full of them. Read and remember what he has done for his people through the ages.
He loves you every bit as much as he loved every one of them.
With that in mind, like Jehoshaphat, you can “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”(1 Peter 5:7)
Question #3: What has God promised?
Sometimes it’s not enough for us to remember what God has done. We have to remember what he promises to do. Jehoshaphat’s final question to the Lord was, “Our God, will you not judge them?” (2 Chronicles 20:12)
Jehoshaphat knew that God had promised to defend his people, and that’s exactly what he asked the Lord to do.
When we know the promises of God, we can boldly ask him to fulfill them.When we know the promises of God, we can boldly ask him to fulfill them.Click To Tweet
So, what are some promises you can cling to today?
10 Bible Verses to Help You Have Faith in Hard Times
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Romans 8:28 – “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- Isaiah 40:31 – “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
- Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
- James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
- Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.'”
- Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
- Psalm 34:17 – “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
- Psalm 9:10 – “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
- Matthew 7:11 – “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
- Psalm 145:13 – “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”
In Chronicles 20:12, Jehoshaphat admitted that he simply couldn’t handle the situation he was facing alone, and often, we have to admit the same thing. Knowing who God is, what he’s done and what he promises to do enables us to have faith like Jehoshaphat.
Our prayer, like his, can be “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)
Today’s Challenge: Read 2 Chronicles 20 and see how God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer. Let his word encourage your heart today!
You might also like:
- 3 Things to Do When You Are Discouraged
- No matter what you’re facing, God is in control.
- God’s Faithfulness Means You Never Walk Alone
- How to Have Hope When Things Fall Apart
I would love to hear from you in the comments about how you handle times of trial. How do you hold on to faith? Do you have a favorite promise of God you cling to in tough times? Share it with us and encourage someone else with it today! Also, be sure to leave a link or two for this week’s Encouraging Word Wednesday linkup!
Michele Morin says
Just this morning my husband and I were talking about #2 and the encouragement it is to remember God’s faithfulness in the past when we’re facing the unknown. Blessings to you, and thanks for this thoughtful post.
Donna Reidland says
Charlie, what a great prayer that is. I especially love Psalm 9.10. When we know His name, we know His character and we can trust Him when we do! Great post!
I love 1 and 2 Chronicles! So many great and practical tidbits! Thanks for sharing!
Nezetmary Rodriguez says
This spoke to my heart. I was just talking to my husband about looking at the things God had done in our lives and to use that to fuel our faith for the things and circumstances we cannot change .
Oh, I am so glad this post encouraged you! Thank you for your comment. I pray that God continues to strengthen your faith!