2 Chronicles 20:3
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
Fear is a real feeling in life that everyone has dealt with at some time in their life. Jehoshaphat found himself and his country in a situation that caused him to fear. A large army was coming to fight against him, and he thought that he was no match to defeat this army. As you can see, fear was the result of self-preservation. He didn’t want to die, but he was afraid that what he was about to face would either kill him or hurt him. This is a natural response to things that are going to hurt or kill us, but he also understood that living in fear was not what God wanted him to do. When fear gripped Jehoshaphat’s life, his response to fear was the same response you must take when you find yourself living in fear. Let me share six ways from Jehoshaphat’s response that will show you how to deal with fear.
First, realize that fear is the absence of faith. One of the biggest reasons we fear is because we stop living by faith and stop trusting God. The disciples feared in the storm when they stopped trusting God’s providential hand to protect them. Jehoshaphat feared when he focused on the great army instead of focusing on God. Fear is certainly a natural response to things that might hurt you, but that doesn’t make it a right response. Faith in God is always the right response to those things that should cause fear when living by sight.
Second, seek the LORD. Jehoshaphat’s immediate response was to seek the LORD about what he should do. Don’t run when fear comes your way, but start seeking God and His mind when you are faced with overwhelming situations.
Third, spend time fasting over that which you fear. Nothing will build your faith in God’s ability to protect you like fasting and prayer. Instead of running from what is causing fear, kneel in prayer and spend time fasting to find God’s mind on how to deal with what seems to be impossible to handle.
Fourth, acknowledge the greatness of God. After fasting and prayer, Jehoshaphat started focusing on God’s greatness and past works and found the encouragement he needed to overcome fear. When you see the greatness of God and His ability to do the impossible is when fear flees and faith inhabits your heart. When you see there is nothing too big for God, you will find fear will have no place in your heart.
Fifth, don’t quit going to church. In verse 5, Jehoshaphat stood in the house of the LORD. Many people stay home in times of fear when they should go to church where they will receive the encouragement needed to properly face the circumstances of life that are trying to make them to live in fear. My friend, staying home from church will not help your fears. Staying home from church only increases your fears because you are missing the exhortation from preaching and the encouragement from your church family. Church is the best place to be when you find yourself living in fear.
Sixth, realize the battle belongs to God. In verse 15, Jehoshaphat was reminded that the battle was God’s and not his to fight. Satan loves to get the believer to believe that they have to fight the battle alone when, in reality, the battle was never yours from the beginning. Elijah succumbed to this mistake and found himself wanting to die under a juniper tree until he was reminded that the battle belonged to God. God is not in the losing business, and what you face today is the LORD’s battle. Stop fearing; the battle belongs to the LORD.