When Your World Is Falling Down 6 Steps to Take

From the first crack to the final crash, I watched the collapse of the historic building. Granted, it was a movie, and the marble and stone were more likely Styrofoam and chicken wire, but the implosion was impressive. 

As one crack led to two and a single crumbling pillar became an entire building teetering on destruction, I couldn’t help but parallel the movie scene with life. Sometimes our world seems as if it’s sliding into an abyss from which it can never climb out. Terrorism, political unrest, and societal disunity sound their doomsday cries from every news show. Struggling marriages, prodigal children, cancer, and sin discourage and defeat us. 

And if threats from without aren’t enough, the voices from within steal our sleep and hound our days:

This is hopeless. Why keep trying? It’ll never get any better. 

This is so bad, even God can’t fix this. 

And the worst: If God loves us, why is this happening? 

Sadly, the world has continued its march toward destruction since Eve took that first bite in the Garden. 

But there is hope. Glorious hope. 

God sees. 

God hears. 

God is intimately acquainted with all our ways. 

And though we won’t see an end to the effects of sin in this life, we don’t have to wait until eternity to live victoriously. 

Jehoshaphat was a man much like us. He loved God and wanted to honor him. In 2 Chronicles 20, he leaps from the pages as a man who could thoroughly understand the challenges of our day. 

As the chapter opens, he’s got a problem bigger than the long-range missiles of North Korea. Scarier than than the Democrats fighting the Republicans. More destructive than the warring factions of our families. 

Two huge armies with enough weapons and manpower to destroy the nation were knocking at his back door. 

And “Jehoshaphat feared.” 

Sometimes I fear, too. 

This is why I’m thankful that, thousands of years after this event occurred, godly King Jehoshaphat still shows us what to do when fear comes knocking. 

1. Go to God first. 

“Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD. . .” 

Going to God first acknowledges that he is our primary source of help and deliverance. Not our family. Not our friends. Not even our church or fellow believers. And while God will often use others to deliver us, he alone is the source. 

2. Consider fasting. Invite other believers who share your same concerns to fast with you. 

“. . . and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord” 

As Jennifer Kennedy Dean, in Live a Praying Life, says, “Fasting is not a last-ditch effort to get through to God. Instead, it sharpens our spiritual senses so that God can get through to us.” 

3. Remember what God has done for you in the past. 

“Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said: ‘O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 

When we recount God’s faithfulness, Dean says, “we allow God to build a foothold for our faith.” 

4. Acknowledge your helplessness. 

“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us,” Jehoshaphat said. It is in our times of absolute helplessness that God is most able to work. When we are totally dependent on him, he alone gets the glory for the victory. 

5. Throw yourself on God’s mercy and stake your trust. 

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you," Jehoshaphat prayed. 

James 1:5 reminds us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” But we must ask in absolute faith that God has the power to do what is best in our situation. “He must believe and not doubt,” James 1:6 says, “because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.” 

6. Praise God for the answer that is coming. 

“Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel.” 

Praising God before the victory seems ludicrous and presumptuous, but if we believe the historical record of Scripture that tells us God works all things together for our good and his glory (Rom. 8:28), then we can praise him. Even though we don’t know how the matter will resolve. 

“It’s not necessary,” Dean says, "to know how God is going to act to have faith.We stake our trust not in the outcome we hope for, but in the God who promises, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 

Jehoshaphat’s victory can be ours as well. Listen to the Lord’s promise: 

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. . . .You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” 

I don’t know what battle you’re facing today, but the same God who fought for Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah fights for you. When fear and discouragement clamp their icy hands around your heart, go to God. Consider fasting. Remember what he’s done for you in the past. Acknowledge your helplessness. Throw yourself on his mercy, and praise him in advance for the victory. 

May God be glorified in and through your struggle.

Now it's your turn. How has God shown himself mighty on your behalf when circumstances seemed hopeless? Leave a comment below and share your story.

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  1. God has shown his might in my life time and time again. He delivered me through countless surgeries, helped my become pregnant through difficult circumstances, and saved me after complications from delivery. God also healed my son and rid his body of cancer cells. God is so good!

    1. Wow, Jennifer, what a testimony to God's faithfulness and care for you. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story. God bless!


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