READ: 2 Chronicles 31-32
THINK: Do you like to fight your own battles? Most people prefer to avoid difficulty and confrontation, yet they're even less likely to humble themselves and let others fight for them. However, when it comes to serving God, you must learn to let go and let Him win your spiritual battles. That doesn't mean you sit back and do nothing. When faced with obstacles and opposition, God expects you to keep working while relying on Him to bring victory (32:2- 5). Winning spiritual battles is a matter of obedience and cooperation with God. That's an active process. Hezekiah demonstrates how prayer, obedience and hard work are an unbeatable strategy for spiritual success (32:21).
RESPOND: How did the people respond after celebration and worship (31:1), and why is this an example of how we should respond when renewing our devotion to God? Why did the people of Jerusalem give offerings to the priests and Levites (31:4-5)? (See 31:4 note.) What happens when everyone in a church congregation contributes joyfully to the ministry? (See 31:10 note.) Why did Hezekiah prosper (31:21)? Why do you think God allowed the Assyrians to invade Judah "after all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done"? (See 32:1 note.) Why does trouble often come to those who are faithful to God, and what opportunity does this give them? What example did Hezekiah set by continuing to work and strategize against the Assyrians as He trusted God for victory (32:2-5)? What did Hezekiah say to encourage his people during the siege (32:7-8), and how does this encourage you personally? (See 32:7 note.) How did Sennacherib of Assyria defy God (32:10-19)? In what way do people today insult God-deliberately or unintentionally-regarding Him as just another false "god"? How did Hezekiah respond to the Assyrian threats (32:20), and how did God respond to them (32:21-23)? Why might God sometimes test people with a sense that He is not near or not supportive? (See 32:31 note.) What can such testing reveal about a person?
PRAY: Ask God to help you prepare for tough times that inevitably follow periods of faithfulness. Thank the Lord for being greater and more powerful than anyone or anything that could come against you.
ACT: If you're going through a tough challenge, look for what God may want you to learn about your life or about himself. Take the opportunity to get closer to God and stretch your faith through this time. If you're facing an obstacle or opposition, do your best to move ahead and grow in spite of it as you continue to pray and trust God.
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