Managing in Tough Times [] — Bible Study Express

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Managing in Tough Times

Managing in Tough Times

Managing in Tough Times


1. Who will defend us in tough times?

King Jehoshaphat [ID:1679043278998]  was ready for war:
2 Chronicles 17:2
KJV 2 And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. CEV 2 He assigned troops to the fortified cities in Judah, as well as to other towns in Judah and to those towns in Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
2 Chronicles 17:12-13
KJV 12 And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store. 13 And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem. CEV 12 As Jehoshaphat became more powerful, he built fortresses and cities 13 where he stored supplies. He also kept in Jerusalem some experienced soldiers
However, he was aware of his limitations.
He couldn’t deal with the coalition that were threatening him – 2 Chronicles 20:1-2
KJV 1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. CEV 1 Some time later, the armies of Moab and Ammon, together with the Meunites, went to war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers told Jehoshaphat, “A large army from Edom east of the Dead Sea has invaded our country. They have already reached En-Gedi.”
He didn’t seek help from other people to face this crisis, but he turned to the only One who could actually help him:
God – 2 Chronicles 20:3-12
KJV 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. 10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. CEV 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he asked the Lord what to do. He then told the people of Judah to go without eating to show their sorrow. 4 They immediately left for Jerusalem to ask for the Lord's help. 5 After everyone from Judah and Jerusalem had come together at the Lord's temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the new courtyard 6 and prayed: You, Lord, are the God our ancestors worshiped, and from heaven you rule every nation in the world. You are so powerful that no one can defeat you. 7 Our God, you forced out the nations who lived in this land before your people Israel came here, and you gave it to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever. 8 Our ancestors lived in this land and built a temple to honor you. 9 They believed that whenever this land is struck by war or disease or famine, your people can pray to you at the temple, and you will hear their prayer and save them. 10 You can see that the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Edom are attacking us! Those are the nations you would not let our ancestors invade on their way from Egypt, so these nations were not destroyed. 11 Now they are coming to take back the land you gave us. 12 Aren't you going to punish them? We won't stand a chance when this army attacks. We don't know what to do — we are begging for your help.
This was not a decision driven by fear or defenselessness.
Josaphat was used to serving God:
2 Chronicles 17:3-4
KJV 3 And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4 But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. CEV 3-4 When Jehoshaphat's father had first become king of Judah, he was faithful to the Lord and refused to worship the god Baal as the kings of Israel did. Jehoshaphat followed his father's example and obeyed and worshiped the Lord. And so the Lord blessed Jehoshaphat
2 Chronicles 19:4
KJV 4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers. CEV 4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he often traveled through his kingdom, from Beersheba in the south to the edge of the hill country of Ephraim in the north. He talked with the people and convinced them to turn back to the Lord God and worship him, just as their ancestors had done.
He knew that he could trust Him.
Do you have such a daily experience with God that will help you trust Him in moments of crisis?

2. Who can we trust?

David knew that no human could save him – Psalm 146:3
KJV 3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. CEV 3 You can't depend on anyone, not even a great leader.
He learnt from Jonathan’s experience that God doesn’t need a powerful army to overcome His enemies:
1 Samuel 14:6
KJV 6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few. CEV 6 Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons talked as they went toward the Philistine camp. “It's just the two of us against all those godless men,” Jonathan said. “But the Lord can help a few soldiers win a battle just as easily as he can help a whole army. Maybe the Lord will help us win this battle.”

1 Samuel 14:13
KJV 13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him. CEV 13 Jonathan crawled up the hillside with the soldier right behind him. When they got to the top, Jonathan killed the Philistines who attacked from the front, and the soldier killed those who attacked from behind.

1 Samuel 14:23
KJV 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven. CEV 23-24 So the Lord helped Israel win the battle that day. Saul had earlier told his soldiers, “I want to get even with those Philistines by sunset. If any of you eat before then, you will be under a curse!” So he made them swear not to eat. By the time the fighting moved past Beth-Aven, the Israelite troops were weak from hunger.
However, he was tempted by Satan and wanted to know how many soldiers he had – 1 Chronicles 21:1-2
KJV 1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. CEV (2 Samuel 24.
1-9) 1 Satan decided to cause trouble for Israel by making David think it was a good idea to find out how many people there were in Israel and Judah. 2 David told Joab and the army commanders, “Count everyone in Israel, from the town of Beersheba in the south all the way north to Dan. Then I will know how many people can serve in my army.”
It was not prohibited, but David was showing that he was trusting his military strength more than God.
God is above all things.
We must come to Him first before resorting to human resources.

3. What can we keep?

During the final tribulation we won’t be able to buy or sell.
If we have anything left after that, it will be destroyed by fire – 2 Peter 3:10-11
KJV 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, CEV 10 The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are. 11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live.
So should we get rid of everything we have now since we won’t be able to keep it?
No, unless the Holy Spirit clearly tells us to do so.
We’re stewards of everything God has given us until Jesus comes back.
We must manage it wisely and faithfully.
Yet, we must always remember that whatever we accumulate here is transitory; fleeting; and, if we are not careful, has the potential to be spiritually corrupting.

4. What will be our priorities?

We will have to decide in some moment:
Either to serve God and lose our possessions,
or to keep them and serve someone who’s not worthy to be served.
Our decision in that moment will depend on the decisions we make today – Matthew 6:24
KJV 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. CEV (Luke 16.
13) 24 You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
The apostle John said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” – 1 John 2:15
KJV 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. CEV 15 Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father.
What’s bad in the “world” that moves us away from God? – 1 John 2:16
KJV 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. CEV 16 Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father.

5. How can we prepare for tough times?

If we don’t bow to the powers governing the world in the end times but remain faithful to God, we will lose our jobs and our possessions – Revelation 13:14-17
KJV 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. CEV 14 This second beast fooled people on earth by working miracles for the first one. Then it talked them into making an idol in the form of the beast that did not die after being wounded by a sword. 15 It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death. 16 All people were forced to put a mark on their right hand or forehead. Whether they were powerful or weak, rich or poor, free people or slaves, 17 they all had to have this mark, or else they could not buy or sell anything. This mark stood for the name of the beast and for the number of its name.
However, we can be sure that God will take care of us:
2 Thessalonians 3:3
KJV 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. CEV 3 But the Lord can be trusted to make you strong and protect you from harm.

Psalm 34:19
KJV 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. CEV 19 The Lord's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through.

How can we prepare for those moments?

Learning to trust God and to live relying on Him today.

A good test is to be faithful with our tithes and offerings.
If we fail in something so small, how could we remain faithful in the forthcoming crisis? – Jeremiah 12:5
KJV 5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? CEV 5 Jeremiah, if you get tired in a race against people, how can you possibly run against horses? If you fall in open fields, what will happen in the forest along the Jordan River?

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