Links Daily Devotional

Feeling Helpless

“O our God… We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (2 Chronicles 20:12, NLT)

Though I try to forget about it, I remember a dreadful round a couple years ago when I was playing in our local U.S. Open Qualifier. I had good thoughts of the course from my practice round and was feeling good after my warm-up session, so I was hoping for a good day out on the course. I got off the first tee successfully, and I was licking my chops over a short wedge into the par-4 first hole. Then came a shank. (Don’t write in and complain, I know that I said the “S” word in a Christian devotional!) Then came another, two holes later another, and another on the fourth hole, and then again off the tee on the sixth hole. I’ve never been so embarrassed or felt so helpless on the golf course in my life!

Having the shanks (I know, I said it again!) is an awful feeling, but at least a round of golf only lasts a few hours and has little consequential bearing on the rest of our lives. But what are we supposed to do when we feel this way in circumstances that matter?

Recently our family has been battling through several things that have not been easy for us. At times we feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and in some instances completely helpless. It is in these helpless times that I have learned to simply lean more into God. The words the apostle Peter spoke to Jesus when it was getting tough to be his disciple resonate greatly with me now: “To whom [else] would we go? You have the words that give eternal life” (John 6:68).

So, it is in God’s Word that I get my comfort—not self-help, but rather a free-flowing grace and love toward me from the most true and constant source in the universe. Just a couple days ago I got a text message from my mother, a true woman of God whom I love and admire greatly and who taught me to seek wisdom and truth through God’s Word. She reminded me of a story in 2 Chronicles of a king named Jehoshaphat that encouraged me. (See 2 Chronicles 17-20.)

In short, Jehoshaphat was a king of God’s people who was very faithful to the Lord, but found himself and his people in a perilous situation, where several other nations had joined together to annihilate them. Powerless and not knowing what to do, he continued as he did throughout his entire reign, yet leaning into God even more. And the people of Judah followed his lead.

At this time God reminded them that this was his battle to fight, not theirs. So as they went out to battle, they trusted the Lord’s promise of provision by sending singers ahead of the army to sing to and praise God. As they began to sing and give praise to the Lord, all the armies that had joined together to attack Judah turned on each other, killing every single one and leaving behind incredible amounts of plunder for Judah to collect. It’s no surprise that they named this land the Valley of Blessing.

I’m really not sure what lies ahead for us in these times, but what I do know and hope to encourage you with is that we can trust in God to deliver on his promises to prosper us, even if it is in a different way than we might ever imagine

Now back to my shank story. The very next day I actually went out and set a new course record. If only they had renamed the course Country Club of Blessing!

Josh Nelson

May 25, 2015

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