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Solving Problems Through Prayer - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2024 12:00 am

Solving Problems Through Prayer - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 8, 2024 12:00 am

Hold onto God's promise that He will stay by your side in every situation—no matter how difficult.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, February eighth. God has the answers you need, but He won't force you to obey Him. Second Chronicles chapter twenty helps you discover the key to solving problems through prayer. Whatever problem you face, whatever it may be, however how large, however how small, how painful, how strenuous, how unpredictable, God is interested in your problem.

He's interested in your problem. If you are a child of God, you can set that down for absolute assurance. If you're not a believer, you never trusted Christ as your Savior, you don't have that asset. Because what you've done is you've rebelled against God and said, I don't need Him. He says, no one comes to the Father but by Me, Jesus said. So, if you have turned Jesus away, turned Him off totally, then who do you go to? You say, well, I'll just go straight to God.

He says, no one comes to the Father but by Me. Now, make an issue of that because it is a very vital issue. It's a very important issue. It's a very important issue. And it's a very important issue because the promises of God are to the children of God.

The promise of salvation is to unbelievers who are willing to repent of their sins and accept Christ. So, we're talking to believers who face problems and difficulties in life. And the first question is, is God interested? And the answer is yes.

And the answer is yes, He is. He's greater than that problem, no matter what it may be. So, the reason this is so important is because what Jehoshaphat and Judah were facing, they were facing this innumerable group of tribes that were going to destroy them.

Not just invade them, but destroy them, take everything that they had. And when I come to thinking about God's promises and how He does take care of us, I think about this thirty-second chapter of Jeremiah when he says, Our Lord God, behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you. Do you believe that? Do you believe that He's interested in your problem? Do you believe that He's bigger than your problem?

Do you think that there's something going on in your life that's bigger than God? If that be true, then God cannot be sovereign. He says He's sovereign. He rules over all things. He can't be the ruler over all things. He can't be sovereign. He can't be the God of heaven and earth if there's something bigger than God. And again, he says, he asks the question, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.

Is anything too difficult for me? And the answer is no. And the third thing is this. We're going to respond to these things in certain ways. And our first response certainly should be to seek the Lord. And this is exactly what Jehoshaphat does.

If you'll notice, for example, in this third verse of the twentieth chapter, the Scripture says, Jehoshaphat was afraid, turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. The first thing he did was to seek the Lord. Now, the reason I know that that was his habit, that wasn't something that he just did one time, is because he says, There is some good in you, for you have removed the ashroth from the land, and you have set your heart to seek God. So, let me ask you a question. Have you ever decided in your life, I'm going to make a priority in my life of seeking the Lord?

You say, Well, what in the world does that mean? Well, it means coming before Him in all kinds of situations and circumstances, asking for His direction, asking for His peace, asking Him to show you His will, asking Him to reveal things in your life that maybe should not be there, ask Him to show you what your real security is. In other words, when you're seeking Him, you, listen, it's not that He can't be found. But when you're seeking the Lord, you're coming to Him because you want Him in your life. You're hungering for Him. You're thirsting for Him.

You want to know Him. And I believe that any believer who's walking in the Spirit has a deep yearning desire to know God better. It isn't enough just to know Him as Savior and Lord. We want to know Him as a practical God who is involved in every single area of our life. Then, of course, it may be that God wants to involve other people in our prayers about our problems.

Notice I said He may want to involve other people. And oftentimes, that is what He would desire to do, but I want to show you why in a couple of warnings. Now, the first thing Jehoshaphat did was, the Scripture says, he sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord.

They even came from the cities of Judah to seek the Lord. That is, he knew this issue. It wasn't just his problem.

It was the problem of his whole nation. And oftentimes, the things that affect us affect our families, affect the people that we love or affect the church or affect the nation, whatever it might be. But even if it's a personal thing, you say, well, I thought you said a while ago, don't take other people's advice.

I would never say don't ever take anybody's advice. You seek the Lord first and God'll show you who to go to. If He wants you to involve somebody else, He'll show you who that is. But oftentimes, that's exactly what He does as He did for him. Sometimes people are a bit too prideful, so they want to solve it by themselves. Now, why would He have us to go to others?

Well, let me ask you a question. Who in your life do you trust enough with your problems to reveal the deep, deep problem of your life? Who do you trust enough that they won't tell anybody but God who already knows? You see, one of the greatest treasures in our life is a treasure of friends. People who love God, who know how to pray, who know how to talk to the Father. What a treasure we have in those kind of friends.

Friends with whom we can share the deepest needs and hurts and pains and sorrows and mistakes and sins of our life. But we can share them with them because we know they'll talk to the Father and not to somebody else. And so, He called upon all of Judah to meet and fast and pray for God to deliver them. Now, when I think about that, I think about why He does it. And if somebody called upon you to help them pray through something and God just did a wonderful work in their life, it'd strengthen your faith.

So, there are two things here. He calls us to call upon others sometimes because it gets them involved in what we're going through. It strengthens their faith. And it teaches them something about God. If I pray for you and you're healed or you're blessed or you're helped in some fashion, and I see that, then when I have my own problem, I've got your problem to remind me also, listen, you did it for them, you do it for me. And that's why God's people should be involved in each other's life as the situation arises and as a proper time and a proper way, because what happens is we grow by watching God deal in other people's lives. Now listen, children can come to church, Sunday school, preaching, you name it.

There's nothing so powerful to teach them that God is a God who answers prayer and is interested in every aspect of their life than hearing their parents pray and watching God answer prayer in your lives. And then what happens? The Spirit of God just takes those examples. They never forget that. Then what happens? They go through life confident that God is with them. He'll take care of their needs. He'll give them direction.

And when it comes to choosing a mate and all the rest, you know what? They're already prayed up. God, show me and give me wisdom.

I know you will because I watched it in the life of my parents, I watched it in my life up to this point. And so, Lord, I'm going to trust You. God is a gracious God. God is an account of God who wants to keep something from you. But He wants you to go about it in the right way.

Sometimes we don't like to do it that way, we want to do it that way. Well, something else I want you to notice and that's this. God will give us a solution to our problem. We said, first of all, He knows it. He understands it. And He's bigger than our problem.

He may want to involve somebody else in our problem. He'll give us a solution to our problem. For example, in this passage, while they're praying, listen to Jehoshaphat, O our God, will you not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude, who are coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on you. For we are powerless before this great multitude, who are coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on you. All Judah was standing before the Lord with their infants and their wives and their children. Then in the midst of the assembly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jehoshaphat, the son of Zechariah, the son of Aniah, the son of Jeho, the son of Madaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph. And He said, Listen all Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be a great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.

Now, what I want you to see is this. Sometimes God will give a solution to that person that you're praying with or listening to. And here in the midst of all these people praying and crying out to God to save Judah, He raises up one man who says, and this is why you and I should have godly friends. This is why part of our treasure in life is far more important than money, fame, fortune, position, popularity, and all that stuff. Far more important than that and a greater treasure are those friends, godly friends to whom you and I can go in times of difficulty and hardship, trouble and trial, and ask for God's direction, and sometimes they'll tell you exactly.

But you see, I made an issue right up front about being careful about your friends. You see, if you ask God to show you a solution to the issue, sometimes He will send you to someone else, but not all the time. And here it's very evident how He used this particular man in that issue. Then, of course, our prayers are to be God-centered and not problem-centered. And I want you to notice the prayer that He prayed here. Listen to this, because you see, oftentimes people pray like this, Oh Lord, You know my problem.

He did this and she did that and they did the other and here's how I'm hurt and here's my pain and all the rest. Listen how He prayed. The Scripture says, He stood in the assembly and He said, and I want you to notice all the references to God. Oh Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? Are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hands so that no one can stand against You. Then He says, Did You not in the past, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land and so forth?

And He goes on about that. Then He says in the twelfth verse, Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us, nor do we even know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. So, think about this. When you're praying about a problem, are most of your words problem-oriented? In other words, are most of your words all about the problem? How much of it is about God? And this is why I say, one of the wisest things you can do when you're praying about a problem is open the Word of God and find those Scriptures.

So, think about this. When you're praying about a problem, are most of your words all about the problem? Open the Word of God and find those Scriptures. Just turn to the Psalms and just start reading it, whatever, and asking God to show you. That is, what you want to know is you want to know how God thinks. You want to know how He operates. And you see, when you and I are talking to God and we're proclaiming and confessing His power and His supreme rulership, and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love and we're confessing His love.

That's the most important thing. The more you talk about God, the smaller the size the problem becomes. Because what happens is the Spirit of God is resurrecting within you the awareness and the faith that you have that oftentimes gets buried under difficulty. He's resurrecting that faith and you begin to believe God and God's power is not centered.

It's very evident that His prayer is God-centered here and not man-centered. And so, what happens is we begin to focus on His resources, His love, His greatness, His power, and the problem begins to get smaller and smaller and smaller. And then of course, God's solution usually requires an act of faith.

As I think about things that I've faced in life, almost everything I've experienced in my life has been a challenge. And so, the idea of faith is a major issue. It's going to challenge my faith in some fashion.

So, here's what happens. So, this prophet stands up and says, this is not your battle. This is God's battle. And in the process of saying that, then God gives them direction as to what to do.

If you're going to be a Christian, you're going to be a Christian, and you're going to be a Christian, and you're going to be a Christian, and you're going to be a Christian, you're going to be a Christian. And here's what Joshua God said, you want to win this battle over Jericho? Here's what you do. March around the city six times, seven times, march around it below the trumpets and so forth and the wall's coming down.

No way. That's not the way you fight. Well, listen to this. He says here's what you do, this battle's not yours. And then you start marching, and as you march, the choir sings and praises God.

That's what He said. They're praising the Lord. They're talking about Jehovah. They're talking about Jehovah the Great One, Jehovah their God, the Creator. In other words, they're praising God and singing praises to God. Now, this was a real act of faith.

I don't know how big a choir you would have thought you would have had on this day, but the choir was going to face the battle with the army, and they weren't going to fight, they were going to sing and praise God. Did it take an act of faith? Yes, it did, because it was so totally unreasonable. And sometimes in order to accomplish His full purpose in our life in a given problem, He's going to ask you to do something that's totally unreasonable. And it's not something you think of. If you think it up, you'll back off. If it's something that you know that God is telling you to do that is very, very unreasonable, then what's going to happen? He's going to give you a surge of faith.

God, it's unreasonable, I don't know how I could do this, but I'm going to trust You. They marched, they sang, and what did God do? He confused the armies so that two of them attacked one, and when they finished wiping them out, the two of them attacked each other in such confusion. It might have been a nighttime, whatever it might have been.

And when Judah got there, when the nation got there, all the enemy were dead. Sometimes you and I may look at our problems and say, God, there's no way. If He tells you to do it, the victory is already won. He's not going to lead you into some defeat. And the issue is, am I willing to trust Him?

When He asks me to do something that seems impossible or difficult, am I going to trust Him? And that's the difference between Him solving the problem and not. And then, of course, the last thing I would say is this. God's solution is always best.

No matter what the problem may be, you could never solve it like God can solve it. Because you don't know all the ins and outs. You don't know what happened before, sometimes years before. You know what the surroundings are. You know what the environment's really like.

You only know what you see and you feel and how limited we are. God's solution is always the best one, if you're willing to trust Him. So, this week comes along and on your way to work, you have a problem.

Or you may get a phone call before you get to work. So, what are you going to do? Father, I know you're interested. You're bigger than this.

I'm going to trust You and watch Your work. Here's what happens. After a while, when problems arise, you won't fret in fear. You just see them as opportunities for God to grow you up. And if you get along in your life and everything is just going your way and you have no needs and everybody does what you want to do, and on and on, and life gets a little monotonous, what you need is a good problem.

It is because you can become very, very comfortable in your plenty, and a good problem gets us back on track, amen? You say, well, I'm not even a Christian. I want to go back for a moment to say this.

None of this will work for you. Because you see, you can't reject the Father, can't reject the Son and expect His awesome power to come into your life. And I would challenge you to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins. Here's what you ask Him for. Ask Him to forgive you for rejecting Him all these years. And tell Him that you want to receive Christ as your Savior and you're trusting Him as your Savior. Change your life forever.

And I do mean for eternity. Thank you for listening to Solving Problems through Prayer. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-08 02:24:48 / 2024-02-08 02:35:09 / 10

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