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Faith in the Face of Despair

Have you ever felt like everything was against you? These past couple of weeks, I have felt this way. Problem after problem. I have been feeling this overwhelming pressure caving in on me, almost like being in a deep whole that just keeps getting deeper with no view of the top.

I have constantly been reminding myself of what Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world”(John 16:33) or Solomon penned:”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight”(Proverds 3:4&5). And they have been the driving force in crawling through these problems.

Sometimes, I swear I feel like I can hear my heavenly Father whispering these things to me in his still small voice. And one of the many things I love about my heavenly Father is that he always draws my attention to his Word to show me how he worked in the lives of others, is working in my life and will continue to show me his faithfulness throughout all of eternity.

So, in everything that is going on right now in my life God has brought me to two different people in scripture. Two people who when up against insurmountable odds and what they chose to focus on.

First: Rehoboam. In 2 Chronicles 12 the Word of God says,”When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord , and all Israel with him. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord , Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people were without number who came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians.

Rehoboam chose to put his focus on his army and its strength rather than walking with the LORD, so the LORD turned them over to be servants to Shishak the king of Egypt. Shishak also plundered the treasuries of the king’s house as well as the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

Second: Abijah. Abijah was Rehoboam son however he loved the LORD. In fact, there was this time when Judah and Israel were at war against each other and the favor would have seemed to be in Israel’s corner. Israel had 800,000 mighty men of war were as Judah had only half of that. So, here is king Abijah still wet behind the ears confronting an army that has won many wars. And I just love what he says. He says,

Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his Lord, and certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute and could not withstand them. “And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord , the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are no gods. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to the Lord who are sons of Aaron, and Levites for their service. They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken him. Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord , the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.”(2 Chronicles 13:4‭-12)

I love this Abijah is basically saying,” Hey Israel you have abandoned the LORD God and his commands and have placed your faith in two golden calves that were made by human hands. But we have not abandoned the LORD our God in fact we have Levites continually presenting offering for us. We love God and He is on our side!”

The whole time Abijah was speaking to Israel, Jeroboam had sent some of his army around Jerusalem’s army to attack them from behind them. However because of Abijah’s devotion to the LORD especially in the face of what would have been complete destruction, God delivered them from their foes. God destroyed 500,000 man from Israel’s army and Jeroboam for the rest of his life was never able to rebuild his army.

So, God has shown me these two men here; one who put all his faith in his own strength and the strength of his army and another man who put all of his faith in the God who has never failed. And He has done this to help me get through what I am going through.

The other morning, I was praying for some relief from all that has been going on in my life when I heard that still small voice again, asking me if His arms have been shortened. Something about my prayer life you need to know is that I love praying the Word of God, so his voice lead me in prayer and it restored my faith to where it should have been. He was and is making me more like Abijah, more like Christ.

Now as for what he spoke to me, “have my arms been shortened”, well that is right out of Numbers 11. Israel is in the wilderness and complaining yet again. Deceiving them selves with lies of what they had back in Egypt. So, God says to Moses prepare them because He is going to give them so much pheasant to eat that it will; at the end of 30 days; be coming out of their noses. And Moses response to this was,” we couldn’t slaughter enough livestock to feed such a great multitude. Even if all the fish of the sea where gathered together they would not be enough.”  To this God says,” Have my arms been shortened.”(NIV)

God was saying ‘Am I not able to do this?’ And this is exactly what he was saying to me. And you know He did, He came through. Praise God for His mercy, His grace, His love, and His benevolence.

Prayer:

Oh most holy Father, I love that you are faithful. I love that you see everything that we go through and that in those times of where we need more strength you give it. Thank you LORD for all you do in our lives. In Jesus’s name, Amen

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