Responding to Bad News

A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea. . . Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD. . ." (2 Chronicles 20:2-3).
Periodically in life you get “bad news” — a kick in the teeth that you did not expect. The painful message may be related to your health, relationship, career, children, parents, finances or whatever. The news can touch the very fiber of your being — emotionally and spiritually. A kick in the head!
Have you ever had someone bring you really bad news? It was so bad that when you heard it your stomach immediately became upset. You went into a crisis mode.
This was the situation for King Jehoshaphat of Judah in 2Chronicles 20. He had just been informed that his country was going to be attacked and destroyed by an army much larger than his. However, instead of panicking, he immediately turned to the Lord by calling for a time of a fasting and prayer. The people from every town in Judah responded.
King Jehoshaphat prayed and reminded God of His promise to Israel. Then he asked God for strategy. "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." At the end of his prayer the Scriptures say that King Jehoshaphat and Judah waited on God's answer. It came through the prophet, Jahaziel son of Zechariah. He said, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's'" (2 Chron 20:15-16).
God supernaturally wiped out their enemies that day. They didn't even have to fight. God caused the enemy to fight themselves. However, the one thing the people did do was that they began to praise God on the battlefield. "As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated" (2 Chron 20:22-23).
King Jehoshaphat did four things in response to bad news. He called for prayer, he called for fasting, he asked for God's strategy, and he began his battle by praising God in the midst of the battle.
Maybe you've just gotten some bad news. If so, follow the example of King Jehoshaphat set forth for us (Romans 15:4): Pray. Fast. Ask. Praise.
 Yes, illness, divorce, death of a loved one, spousal-parents-kids, health, and financial issues do bring “bad news” sometimes, and such news can drop us to our knees.  But the person of faith and resilience gets up and challenges life’s headwinds with new resolve — grateful to be alive and have more opportunities to experience the “God stuff” available for those who are able to move ahead.  Hopefully you have, or will follow the pathway King Jehoshaphat set forth for us (Romans 15:4): Pray. Fast. Ask. Praise.
1) Os Hillman, Today God is First at


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