Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I have – this week has held some overwhelming moments. Reading two accounts of King Abijah this morning got me pondering my response.
Abijah was king of Judah, two kings after David. Chronicles records little about him beyond this inspiring story. When the king of Israel marches against him with twice the fighting men, Abijah tells them because Israel has forsaken the Lord and Judah had not, Israel is fighting against God, not just Judah.
While Abijah gives this rousing speech, the armies of Israel are building an ambush around Judah. But note Abijah’s response: “Judah turned and saw they were being attacked both front and rear, and cried out to God. The priests blew their trumpets and Judah raised their battle cry! At the sound of their roar, God routed Jeroboam, and Israel fled before Abijah while Judah took home the plunder.
Sadly, this was a one time response. 1 Kings 15 says Abijah committed all the sins of his father because his heart was not devoted to the Lord. Every day decisions and posture seem to count far more in God’s eyes than one stunning moment – although the moment provides a great example!
What is my response to overwhelming moments? Do I confidently yell out my battle cry and tell God the battle is His? Or do I go into stress management or helpless retreat mode? I have to confess, my ‘go to’ response is management with things, and retreat when people are involved. This has got to change. It is not enough to simply surrender; faith requires the battle cry of confidence in God!
God promises if we entrust every decision, and circumstance to His power and control, we will see his mighty hand at work. How much do we lose out on by managing and retreating when God wants us to surrender our problems and roar our victory cry!
I have a hard time picturing Jesus overwhelmed for any amount of time. He was always aware of His Father’s power and commitment, and with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, His outcomes to overwhelming situations were incredible.
James 1 says: “consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds.” In facing trials with Jesus, we come out with bigger territory and stronger faith that perseveres – so as our faith grows, we can even look forward to trials because where there’s victory, there’s increased authority!
Throw your lot in with God though it seems the day be lost Take your stand with God Jehovah though it demand the highest cost
And when you are surrounded, yet stand still and wait Lift your voice and eyes in worship though the victory seems too late
Forget not the darkness that accompanied the cross Nor that the greatest triumph first appeared the greatest loss
While the ground received with quaking, the body of the Lord, Our God did not stand idle, He was girding up His sword
So when terror seeks your heart, and you wish to turn and flee Give your battle up to Jesus, and follow Him to victory
His thoughts and ways are higher and He sees your greatest test You’ll use it as a springboard into greater strength and rest!