I stumbled on a bright insight in a somewhat obscure Bible passage this morning (isn’t it wonderful how God does that when we read His Word!). The story is told in 2 Chronicles 20. Tiny Judah is about to be overrun by a vast army. King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a time of fasting and prayer and everyone joined him. God assured him that He would give him the victory. He took his small army and headed out to a battle he couldn’t possibly win but which God assured him would end in victory. As they went they started singing praises to God, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). As they started singing, God began working on their behalf by causing confusion among the enemy soldiers so that they started attacking each other. When Jehoshaphat arrived every enemy soldier was dead. The army had been so large that it took the Jews 3 days just to gather the plunder left in their camp. The word of this great victory by God spread and everyone left Judah alone after that.
What stood out to me this time, and I think you noticed it, is that they started praising BEFORE the victory. They didn’t wait until it was over. It’s easy to thank God then, but to worship before the outcome is known is very special to God. Understand, this isn’t some kind of name-it-and-claim-it thing. It’s merely recognizing that our sovereign God will ultimately bring total victory in whatever we face. It’s as good as done. He is in control and does all for a purpose (Romans 8:28), so trust Him and praise Him for that assurance. Thank Him now.
There is power in praise, for the very moment they started singing God started working. God is blessed when we praise Him before the victory, and we are as well. My wife Nancy used to say, back in the days when they gave Green Stamps for food purchases, that God gave double stamps when we praised Him before the victory!
Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Job 1:21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Are you facing something that is a concern to you right now? Don’t wait until it is over to praise God, start right now. Pick a favorite hymn or praise song and start singing it out loud or in your head. Keep coming back to it all day. We don’t know when or how God will deliver, but we know ultimately He will. So see this as an opportunity to trust and praise! Face your battles today with a song in your heart!