The Great Problem-Solver

Do you struggle with problems? “Who doesn’t?!” Then, if there were Someone capable and willing to manage your problems, would you be interested?

Imagine being a salesman for a large company. Something goes wrong with an important account. The other company is breaking their agreements, threatening legal action, and blaming you for the trouble! You are worried that your job is in jeopardy. Now let’s say the president of your company calls you into his office and says, “I know of the problems we are having with company X. I’ve decided to take full responsibility for this case. I may delegate some tasks to you as we work through these issues, but it is no longer your problem; it’s mine.” Wow! You’d be delighted and relieved!

Something similar happened back around 860 B.C. in the kingdom of Judah. King Jehoshaphat was ruling (one of the generally good kings who was faithful to the LORD). After initiating some reforms, he got some bad news: “Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (2 Chron. 20:2). Not something he wanted to hear. Armies from Moab, Ammon, and Edom were about to attack! What would you have done?

Here are some practical lessons.

1. Go to the Great Problem Solver.

The king of Judah went to the only One able to resolve this crisis: “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD” (2 Chron. 20:3,4).

2. Humble yourself and pray.

The king humbled himself and then led a campaign of intercessory prayer:

“Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and said: ‘O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name … And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir… rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You'” (2 Chron. 20: 5-12).[1]

What a prayer!

3. Be yielded and teachable.

Maybe God allows our problems to pile up to remind us of some basic lessons: We aren’t designed to be self-sufficient. God is to be our resource for living.

But God’s power is not available for us to use indiscriminately. The King of Judah went back to the conditions of God’s covenant, fulfilled his responsibilities, and then claimed God’s promises.

Now notice how God intervened. He reassured His people through His Word: “Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them … You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you'” (2 Chron. 20:15-17).

4. Revere God’s sovereignty.

Notice also how the people of Judah responded to God’s Word. First they respected God’s sovereignty: “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD” (v.18).

5. Praise the Lord through faith and hope.

Next, they praised the LORD: “Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high… [Jehoshaphat] appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: ‘Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever'” (2 Chron. 20:19,21).

And they put their trust in God: “Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper'” (v.20). Then God fulfilled His promises by granting a supernatural victory! (v.22-24).

A more recent testimony was given by Charles Trumbull. He was a devoted, mature Christian, but struggled with his spiritual battles. Eventually he was guided to discover God’s sufficiency as his problem-solver. He wrote of the need to not only surrender, but also to fully trust God:

” …the Surrendered Life is not necessarily the Victorious Life. There is no victory without surrender, but there may be surrender without victory. Some of us know this to our sorrow. We may have ‘let go,’ but if we have not ‘let God’ [trusted Him fully], we are sure to be defeated. We may not have realized that the work of victory is wholly and exclusively His. For after you have put yourself unreservedly and completely under the mastery of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you must know and remember that it at once becomes His responsibility [to deliver you from your spiritual enemies].”[2]

Each of these lessons are facets of the Abiding Life (John 15:1-8).

So the “President of your company” does want to manage your problems! As the prophet declared,

“The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).

I am told that term “crisis” in Chinese is a combination of the symbols for “danger” and “opportunity.” May we learn the language of faith so that we can translate our troubles into opportunities to magnify our great Problem-Solver.

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:3).


Notes:

[1] To put in context God’s judgment on the inhabitants of Canaan, see “God and the Canaanites: A Biblical Perspective” by Rick Wade of Probe Ministries:
https://www.probe.org/god-and-the-canaanites/

[2] Charles G. Trumbull, Victory in Christ (C.L.C.) p.14,15

Copyright 2000, 2016 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non commercial use if credit is given to the author and GraceNotebook.com.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version (copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson).


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Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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