Friday, February 25, 2011
Today’s Topic: Answered Prayer
Today’s Text: Isaiah 37:21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word the LORD has spoken against him:”
As things continue to heat up in our state and people begin to feel more strongly than ever about their position on the issues, my heart continues to remain steadfast on one thing – God is in control…ALWAYS!
All around us we see the possible effects of the cutbacks that are being proposed. For some of us, like me, the reworking of the financial budget has already taken place because even though we are not directly affected by this issue, other things have deeply impacted our resources. For example, my heath care premiums jumped 31% two months ago. I know what it means to have to redistribute my wealth from things I want to things I need.
People are deeply hurting over this, but one thing is always true – God is in control! His promises NEVER fail. He cannot not fulfill His Word. We tend to forget that in times of stress and hardship. At the first sign of trouble we quickly move into a massive mode of self-protection, fix-it, and take control. Why do we do that? Why is it so easy for us to start trusting ourselves again rather than trusting God?
In the story of King Hezekiah, we learned yesterday how he prayed, and how we should pray, when the odds are overwhelmingly against us. Now look at the answer God gives through Isaiah. He says, “Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word the LORD has spoken against him:” God is pleased with Hezekiah’s prayer because it was one of surrender, not selfishness. Hezekiah stretched out the problem before the Lord, indicating that he was releasing control of the outcome to his Lord. As a result, God spoke against the king of Assyria, and God will speak against our issues as well when we surrender them to Him.
Next week we will look at some of the specifics of God’s answer to Hezekiah, because there are some incredible truths for us to ponder. But for today, let’s look at the end of this story. Here’s what happens as a result of Hezekiah’s prayer of surrender:
Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
Notice three things from the story that are applicable to our present situation:
- Jesus Christ is involved. The Angel of the Lord is Jesus, and He is personally involved in conquering the enemy that is attacking you.
- The problem will go away. At the hand of God, and by His will, He can remove the problem and He can give you sufficient grace based on your faith in Him to sustain you while the problem remains.
- The problem will be permanently punished. The King of Assyria was murdered by his own sons and he went to his eternal punishment. It may seem like it’s taking a long time, but not one problem will survive the judgment of God.
God is in control! So cast all your cares upon Him. Surrender every issue and problem to Him. The promise of God is that His peace, that surpasses all human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.