By Dr. Kelli Criss
At Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition, we see the importance of avoiding the snares set by the radical left and the media who insist the global pandemic falls on Trump’s shoulders alone. They falsely assert that recovery relies totally on the political leaders of our day. We know that the faith community possesses power and influence from God to be part of the solution ourselves.
Today’s blog, Gratitude’s Power, discusses how King Jehoshaphat and Judah reacted to God’s victory and favor with worship and thanksgiving and how the faith community can learn from the people of Judah’s testimony. We discuss the ways God’s victory over COVID-19 is unfolding even now.
After the tremendous victory over their enemies, King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah remembered to thank God for who He is – sovereign, all-powerful, gracious, just, and generous. They expressed gratitude for all God had done for them:
On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets. (2 Chronicles 20: 26-28, New International Version)
Berakah means praise. Just as worship and praise led the nation of Judah into battle, praise led them into their future after the crisis. Whether the faith community is facing trouble or triumph, relating to God through praise and gratitude is our guide and constant.
Like the people of Judah, the faith community has united for prayer and fasting. We meditated upon God’s attributes during the Florida National Day of Prayer livestream and heard God’s word communicated through faith leaders.
Impacting Surrounding Kingdoms
As King Jehoshaphat and his nation, Judah, turned to God for help, they shared a testimony that impacted their neighbors in the surrounding kingdoms. Of course, God had accomplished the victory and granted the spoils; yet, the people of Judah and their king, had been obedient to God. This interaction between God and His people possesses tremendous power to impact everyone around the faith community: “The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel” (2 Chron. 20:29, NIV).
God was glorified through the nation of Judah’s testimony. As people of faith, we are always eager for our lives to be a vibrant testimony which will help people know God. This truth feels even more poignant during the current global crisis when suffering is rampant. So, how has God impacted the “surrounding kingdoms” during His victory over COVID-19?
The faith community is seeing God’s movement to glorify His name. At Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition, we believe God is glorifying His name during the current crisis through securing international borders.
Borders are being closed or highly monitored via restrictions throughout the world. At home in the U.S., since April Trump has repeatedly extended border closures for non-essential travel with Canada and Mexico through June, 2020. Furthermore, the Trump administration has restricted travel to the U.S. by foreign nationals from various countries to protect America from the spread of the coronavirus. Before the pandemic, the media and political opponents labeled President Trump as xenophobic for focusing upon border security through measures like building the wall and increasing border security staffing.
Now, even globalism-focused Europe has imposed travel and border access restrictions. Consider how globalism has been the rallying cry in Europe during recent decades; however, during the pandemic Europe has closed and/or limited travel within the bloc and from neighboring countries around the European Union (EU) bloc’s borders. Although on the surface these European border restrictions are a response to coronavirus, God is using these restrictions to protect nations from threats by causing leaders to decide to secure their borders. Hasn’t the faith community prayed for God to create security along borders around the world? We can worship God with gratitude. He is answering our prayers.
Next week, we’ll discuss further examples of God working during the current crisis. God is fulfilling His promise to make “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NASB).