2020 has been a rough year! I’ve seen “cute” attempts on Facebook and other social media to draw comical parallels between the frustrations and unpleasant things that have transpired this year and other dreaded experiences… You’ve seen them as well!
But tomorrow is THANKSGIVING! Figure!!! (And even a dark cloud has appeared over it – limited social gatherings, curfews, travel advisories, and COVID-19 positive tests! And the list of “unpleasantness” goes on! A year that started out with high expectations (it’s 20-20 after all!) has for many people ended up “in the ditch!”
What to do?
Perhaps we should take a clue from a Hebrew king in the Bible – Jehoshaphat! (I read his story just this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord.” Check it out in 2 Chronicles 20 in your Bible!
The Moabites, Ammmonites and the Meunites – “a great multitude” encamped against King Jehoshaphat for battle against Judah – a terrifying situation!
Jehososhaphat did the right thing though… The Bible says, “Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord!” Not only that, he appealed for others to join him in fasting and prayer! In fact, Jehoshaphat’s prayer is a model prayer in times of personal and national crisis (read it in 2 Chronicles 6-12)
God’s answer came with a powerful, encouraging prophetic word! “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed… for the battle is not yours, but God’s! … You will not need to fight in this battle! Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord!” (Vss. 15-17)
But where does “Thanksgiving” come in you might be saying? How does this help me in this “sewer of a year – 2020?”
Well here’s what Jehoshaphat did (and on this Thanksgiving eve in 2020 I think it’s a good pattern for us!)…
“Jehosophat appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him… they went before the army and said, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endure forever!’ And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir… and they destroyed one another… none escaped! …
“When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah [Blessing], for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah [Blessing] to this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:21-28 ESV)
Hey, I think it’s a plan for Thanksgiving 2020!!! – Pray fervently! Then trust God’s promises and obey His word! And then SING, WORSHIP, PRAISE, AND GIVE THANKSGIVING IN THE FACE OF OUR CHALLENGES – AND CERTAINLY AFTER GOD GIVES US VICTORY!!! Who will join me in living out that strategy?