"Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria or before the large army that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. He has only human strength, but we have Yahweh our God to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people relied on the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.” - 2 Chronicles 32:7-8
Be strong and courageous is an encouragement that we see throughout the Bible; one we grow up singing and learning in Sunday school and one that we repeat to ourselves when we may be filled with fear or anxiety. In this chapter, the king of Assyria invades Judah to destroy the land. In preparation, King Hezekiah did all he could to ready his military for the invasion while trusting in God. In the verses we are focusing on today we see him encouraging his people to be strong and courageous, for the power of God was on their side.
What I love about this passage is that Hezekiah is not just encouraging them to be strong and courageous, but is reminding them WHY they can be. He is reminding them that their God is a greater power, that he is so much more powerful than human strength, that he even fights our battles for us. Now most of us won’t be facing a literal battle or the threat of being invaded, but no doubt, there are things in your life that feel like a battle you are facing. When we are in that place, when we feel like we are being hemmed in on all sides, that we are surrounded and being attacked, we are called to remember that we are not alone. For the Lord our God is there to help us and to fight our battles.
1. What are the battles that you are fighting?
First take some time to acknowledge some of the battles that you may be facing today, it may be mental health, job issues, family issues etc. God knows what we are up against but often it is helpful to acknowledge that — yes there is a battle that I am fighting.
2. Are you relying on human strength?
So often we try to face these battles alone, to deal with them ourselves and use our own human strength to fight them. Maybe I’m the only one that needs to do this, but today, repent of relying on your own strength of trying your own solutions and leaving God out of it, of believing the lie that God doesn’t care about this battle you are facing.
3. Instead, rely on the greater power with us
Now remind yourself who our God truly is. Read passages in the Bible that reveal his character and remind yourself of stories where he has saved his people in miraculous ways. Remind yourself of ways in which he has rescued you, of how he has worked in your life.
4. Be strong and courageous
End by laying whatever battles you are facing at the feet of Jesus, handing over to him control and allowing him to fight your battles. Remember that we are to be strong and courageous, that we are not to be afraid or discouraged. Why? As it says in verse 7 in the NIV version ‘for there is a greater power with us.’