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The Design of Desperation

We work very hard at preventing life from ever becoming desperate. We want things guaranteed, well-oiled, unhindered, insulated and weightless. We like our friends close, our enemies distant, our demands easily met, and our abilities affirmed. We want to help people with their problems, not receive help with our own. Let us be strong! Let us be wise! Let us own all the answers and none of the troubles. Let us be…anything but desperate!

God does not always support these desires within us. As a matter of fact, He fights this craving of ease with all His omnipotence. He refuses prolonged lightness to His own children and sovereignly saddles us with weights much heavier than we desire to bear. Amazingly, He does this, not as a heartless dictator, but as a compassionate and committed Father. WHY? As it has been declared from many pulpits, “God is not as interested in our happiness and He is in our holiness.”

For you who are in a season of suffocation and strain, please cease to resist your call to brokenness and stop seeking to be strong. The following prayer of desperation is something which needs to be declared by you with certainty and urgency as you aim it straight at the heart of God:

“O our God…neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” — II Chronicles 20:12.

Very simple. Very straightforward. Very easily understood. The man who uttered this prayer on behalf of himself and the people of God was a king in Israel. He was outmatched, overwhelmed, underconfident, and out of options. The fact of the matter was that Jehoshaphat was not imagining things — he did not know what to do and had his back pressed against a wall. All his options had been removed, there was no human way out, the situation was threatening to destroy him, and he was desperate.

It was in the hour of his utmost desperation that God would act with undeniable strength. Read the account in II Chronicles 20 and make Jehoshaphat’s response to his battle your very own. You have the same level of challenge. You have the same urgency of need. You have the same availability of God. But do you have the same desperation?

I’ll not write much more for fear of intruding upon the Holy Spirit’s job, but I would just ask you to examine whether you are truly desperate. Frustration is not the same as desperation; feeling frantic is not the same as desperation; floundering is not the same as desperation. Have you given up in such a fashion that it merely admits that you cannot win on your own? Has this realization motivated you to turn with all expectancy to the God who listens, understands, rescues, empowers, and moves? I encourage you to stop stirring the matter around in your mind as you seek the presumed solution. Maybe there is not a solution there in your head. Maybe there’s not one by the power of your hand. Perhaps the only answer is found in your trembling voice…on your knees…through your tears…before your God. That’s where I have found my answers in times like these.

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