Faith The Facts
21 July 2016
Reading: 2 Kings 18-18; 2 Chronicles 32; James 5
16 Listen to me, O Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. 17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations, just as the message says. (2 Kings 19:16-17 NLT)
I love Hezekiah! His story strengthens my faith. It’s a story of one man responding to God in faith and succeeding against absolutely impossible odds. In today’s story, Hezekiah goes into God’s Temple with a really scary and threatening letter from the king of Assyria and lays it out to God in prayer. The threats are real, the facts cited by the Assyrian are true. It’s an impossible situation. There’s no way out.
But in the parallel reading in 2 Chronicles 32, this is what Hezekiah did: 6 …Then Hezekiah encouraged them with this address: 7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! 8 He may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” These words greatly encouraged the people. (2 Chronicles 32:6-8 NLT)
Hezekiah went to God in desperate, honest prayer, laid out the facts, and said, “God, if you don’t help us, we’re toast!” Then Hezekiah went to the people and rallied them with words of faith and encouragement. He assured them that God is greater than the facts and that God would come through. Morale surged!
Which is real, the threatening, intimidating facts, or the assurance that God is greater than circumstance and will help us? Both are real. But faith in God’s greatness trumps bare facts. Always has, always will.
Face the facts and lay it all out before God – in desperation if that’s what you’re feeling. Then believe and speak the truth about God’s greatness, goodness, and power. The truth of God’s goodness and power triumphs over the facts of the situation.
Father, I will to turn to you and tell you the truth about my feelings and my situation – the facts. I also purpose to tell others the truth about you and your power and your goodness – the faith. I will be honest with you (speaking facts), and I will be honest with others (speaking faith.) Help me to know how to do this wisely and well. Amen.