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Alarmed and Resolved at the Very Same Time

January 9, 2020

“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.” 2 Chronicles 20:3 (NIV)

Do you ever look around at all that is happening in our world today, or even within the realm of your own personal life, and feel fear grip your heart?

I think it’s a feeling we have all faced at some point in our lives. We crave safety and certainty and simplicity as we raise our families, serve God and live out our Christian beliefs in both private and public. But so many things feel threatening to those desires.

How do we navigate both our fears and our faith? How do trust God when everything around us in the world today leaves us feeling quite alarmed?

One of my favorite kings to study over the last few years has been King Jehoshaphat. Although his story is only found in tucked away parts of Scripture, what I really love is how we can clearly see his absolute resolve to trust in the Lord.

King Jehoshaphat is mentioned in both 1 & 2 Kings, but there’s also a unique story about this faithful king of Judah in 2 Chronicles 17–20. King Jehoshaphat was connected in alliance through marriage to the wicked King Ahab since his son married Ahab’s daughter. They ruled around the same time. We may question his decision to be connected to a wicked king like Ahab through marriage, but Scripture teaches us that Jehoshaphat was a good king who walked in the ways of David his father. Rather than seeking false gods, Jehoshaphat sought after the Lord; therefore, God was with him (17:4).

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Jehoshaphat never faced fear-inducing situations. In 2 Chronicles 20 we find that three countries have banded together, forming a massive army to attack Jehoshaphat’s much smaller country of Judah. If ever there were a time for a king to feel alarmed, this would have been it. But Jehoshaphat didn’t fall apart.

I am both inspired and challenged by how he chose to react to his overwhelming circumstances: “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.” (2 Chronicles 20:3)

Do you see how King Jehoshaphat’s name is bookended in two realities: alarmed and resolved? He had both the feelings of alarm that are a natural human response to his threatening situation and a supernatural resolve to inquire of the Lord. The resolve was a predetermined pattern built over time that emerged as naturally as the feelings of alarm rose within him.

I want this for my life. I want my resolve to inquire of the Lord to be my first response, not my last resort when feelings of alarm arise with threatening situations. But to be honest with you, I think I still need some work in this area.

When I get caught off guard, stunned by threatening circumstances in the world, or unexpectedly wounded by a hurtful statement, I can literally feel my body being overrun with a flood of emotions. Based on conversations with different friends of mine with different personalities, it seems like each of us has a go-to feeling that rises up and wants to take over in threatening situations: anger that wants to come out swinging, fear that wants to shrink back and disappear, confusion that wants to talk it out and restore peace quickly, just to name a few.

Though seeking the Lord doesn’t always come naturally as my first response, it is the only way to infuse supernatural strength into my resolve. The more I turn to the Lord in daily struggles, the more natural it is to return to Him in times of unexpected trouble.

Does this mean I’ll never wrestle with feelings of fear? Of course not. But I’m learning that while we can sometimes feel afraid, we don’t have to live afraid. We can be alarmed and resolved at the very same time. We can let our declaration mirror Jehoshaphat’s words to God in 2 Chronicles 20:12b, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me that fear doesn’t have to pull me away from trusting in You. Fear can actually be the catalyst to me choosing to trust You more than ever. Today I’m choosing to fix my eyes and my hope on You. The God who is for me, with me, and loves me without end. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If this resonated with you and you want to learn more about how to trust God with your situation, I’d like to invite you to join our FREE 6-week Online Bible Study of Trustworthy: Overcoming Our Greatest Struggles to Trust God.

When you sign up for the Trustworthy OBS which starts on January 20th, you get access to:

* All 6 Trustworthy study videos filmed on location in Israel.
* A study that fits your busy schedule, any time and anywhere!
* Authentic conversations held in a private online group to connect with other women like you!
* Additional videos from the Proverbs 31 staff and me to set the tone for each week of the study.

Click HERE to sign up!

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15 Comments
  1. Sharron

    I love this devotional and the book and Bible Study sound amazing! I would love to do this study with my daughter who is 10 years old. Would this study be appropriate for someone her age? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lysa TerKeurst

      Hi Sharron! That’s a great question… we believe this study would be too in depth and mature for the average 10 year-old, but you know your daughter best… so check it out and see what you think. 🙂 – Amanda, LT Ministry Team

      Reply
      • Jo Ann Keller

        I bought the Trustworthy workbook & I ordered the cds to rent, but never received them. What can I do?

        Reply
        • Lysa TerKeurst

          Hi JoAnn, if you ordered, from LifeWay, you’ll need to talk directly to their customer support. Here’s their information to get you started: Customer Service
          LifeWay.com Phone Orders and Information
          Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CT Monday – Friday (800) 458-2772
          [email protected]

          The video session rentals are digital downloads that you can watch from your computer or phone, so you may want to check your email or spam folder to see if you can see them! There will be no physical CDs sent to you. – Amanda, LT Ministry Team

          Reply
  2. MaryKay

    I just read your today’s beautiful lesson. You took me to tears. Thank you so much for not only teaching us God’s Word, but also for being so open and transparent with your own trials and tribulations. You never fail to reach me at the center of my heart, which is exactly where our precious Jesus presides. Thank you for sharing with us. Blessings to you and to your family.

    Reply
  3. Judy

    Can I get the book on my kindle?

    Reply
  4. Derek

    Hi Lysa, I read your book ( It’s not supposed to be this way.) Blessings to you, you put a lot of thought and heart into it. You have put information in that book which has blessed me. Keep up the amazing gift God has given you. Derek at truthoutreach.net

    Reply
  5. Kim Johnson

    Hi Lysa; I was lucky enough to be in a Bible Study this past spring you authored Finding I Am. Shamefully I admit I’ve not finished it. Yesterday I was having a bad day sending me back to past hurts when I heard you on Focus on the Family. You not only inspired me but showed me a new way to look at the struggles my husband and I had been through.

    I’d love to talk more with you but not sure how much to post here.

    Reply
  6. Allison

    Lysa,
    Thank you so much for this post! This message was exactly what I’ve been needing for a long time. I have always struggled with giving God control and looking to Him for refuge rather than myself. I confess I haven’t read your blog before, but I have read “Uninvited” and God also used it to meet me right where I was. Thank you for using your gifts for His glory! He has truly used your writing to change me and bring me closer to Him.

    Reply
  7. Terry Johnson

    some ladies at my church and i are getting ready to start this study. I was told by the book store that each lady will need a book and a study guide, but the one book appears to be all that is needed, and all that i can find. (other than the videos). Help! What materials do we need to do the study? thank you so much in advance, we would like to get started soon.

    Reply
    • Lysa TerKeurst

      Hi Terry! Great question. Yes, you are right, all you need is the Trustworthy study guide book and the videos. – Amanda, LT Ministry Team

      Reply
  8. Amy

    HELP!! I so “crave safety and certainty and simplicity” as you so eloquently put it. Life currently is pulling me two very separate directions; and the spiritual direction is the one most laced with fear and trepidation. This seems backwards to me.
    God created us as humans, He gave us logic and common sense. Would he tell/lead His child(ren) in a direction that simply doesn’t make logical sense?
    If so, how does our limited logical brain convince us to make what seems like an illogical change/move?
    Especially when there are circumstances that seem to pull in the opposite direction?

    Signed: Modern day Jacob in the midst of a wrestling match.

    Reply
  9. Melanie Covey

    I am SO very thankful that God led me to find this Trustworthy Bible Study!!! After 7 years of being completely STUCK in betrayal trauma, I can finally start to heal myself. Finding this Trustworthy led me to Lysa, which led me to the book “It’s not Supposed to be this way” which has led me to Michael and Julianne Cusick!!!! God sure has had a plan all along!!! I am not completely ready to say that “licking the floor of hell” has been worth it yet, but I getting there!!!! THANK YOU Lysa for being you and sharing your journey!!!!!

    Reply
  10. B.B

    We focus on and trust in what we think will save us. God has used these words to challenge me. I need to make some changes. Thank you

    Reply
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