Grace in Destruction

2 Chronicles 20:37 (ESV)
“Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish.”

Sometimes God prevents us from doing foolish things. Not always; but there are most certainly times in our lives where God’s grace covers us from making unwise choices.

In our study verse above, King Jehoshaphat, who was for the most part a good king, had formed a couple of ill-advised alliances with the northern kings of Ahab and Ahaziah. God thwarted these plans by directing the ships be destroyed, and thus using His sovereignty to prevent what would have been a disastrous alliance with the northern kingdom.

I think we sometimes forget that we do not serve an absentee landlord, that our God is active in this world and in our individual lives. True, He has given us the freedom to make our own choices, but there are most certainly times where the Holy Spirit draws us to make a different choice—just as it did Paul on his missionary journeys (see Acts 16:6).

We do not see our lives as God sees them—we are but in a moment of time where the Almighty is timeless and knows the beginning to the end—and we will not always understand why some events come about in our lives, especially when they run counter to our own will and desire.

It is in these moments where our faith is tested and where it can then grow stronger. Believing in God’s purpose for your life can help you overcome life’s struggles by letting your faith sustain you in moments of uncertainty where clarity is so hard to grasp.

By all means, open God’s Word and seek comfort from familiar verses. But don’t limit God to just what is written—open your heart to Him in earnest prayer and listen in the quiet solitude of the day for His direction.

We can find many instances in God’s Word where individuals who were facing uncertainty and emotional upheaval sought fasting as a way to draw closer to God (c.f. David in 2 Samuel 12:1-23; Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4-8; Ezra in Ezra 10:6-17; Esther in Esther 4:15-17; Darius in Daniel 6:18; Jesus in Matthew 4:1-2). When we forgo our physical needs, we can enhance our recognition of our spiritual needs.

Know that God loves you and that His plans for your life will not always be what you desire. But through a trust born from a faith unshaken and deeply rooted can you experience an inner peace that in even the most violent storms of life, will remain.