3 things to do when you don't know what else to do. Christians will be encouraged by this Scripture-based lesson. Taken from a powerful story in the Bible with inspirational quotes and wisdom from God's Word. Bible study for anyone battling discouragement.

When the Odds are NOT in your favor

Have you ever felt outnumbered?

Maybe it’s failing relationships, mounting finances, or closing doors of opportunity that make you feel like the odds are definitely NOT in your favor.

Maybe it’s sin you can’t overcome, anxiety overtaking your heart, or dreams and hopes that continue to go unfulfilled day after day.

Maybe you’re like me — and look at the state of our world — and feel like a flea on the wing of a fly on a frog…
Well, we can just stop there before we both end up in a hole in the middle of the sea.

Whatever the cause, the effect leaves you feeling small.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Consider the story in 2 Chronicles 20 where God’s people in Judah were literally outnumbered. In fact, the war report to King Jehoshaphat detailed, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea.”

Scripture records the king’s response. He gathered the people to fast and pray. After proclaiming God’s sovereignty, the king ended with a heart-wrenching cry of dependence:

“For we are powerless
against this great horde
that is coming against us.
We do not know what to do,
but our eyes are on you.”


The sheer desperation in that prayer floods my own eyes. I can relate more deeply than I’d like to admit.
God heard that prayer and He answered through a servant:

“Do not fear or be dismayed
because of this great multitude,
for the battle is not yours but God’s.

You need not fight in this battle;
station yourselves,
stand and see the salvation
of the LORD on your behalf

for the LORD is with you.”

(vs. 14-17)

Now, we aren’t facing a multitude of enemy combatants approaching our gates; nevertheless, there is a real combat and an enemy who is often behind our feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
“We are powerless and don’t know what to do.”

Turning to God in prayer is the first strategy, but there’s even more we can learn from this account.

God’s instructions and the resulting response from this predicament 3000 years ago hold a few important lessons for us today.

3 things to do when you don’t know what to do

1-Station, Stand, and See

I love alliteration, and this trio is profound.

The Hebrew word translated “station” is defined as setting a position or taking one’s stand. There’s a subtle difference between this and the verb translated “stand,” which is the act of persisting — or as my favorite definition states — “abiding behind.”

We have to first take our stand before we can withstand.
The only foundation worth standing on is the Word of God.

In times of overwhelming darkness and despair, we must go a step further, intentionally abiding behind God’s Word and His promises.
Claim them and proclaim them.
Write them down and shut out anything else that distracts us from the work of withstanding and the act of abiding.

Finally, we have to see. Seeing the salvation of the Lord is the result of stationing and standing, but it’s also a deliberate action.
We have to choose what we fix our eyes on.
Sometimes that may require derby blinders or deleted apps or disconnected TVs.

Our eyes are the windows to our soul.
If the eyes need Windex, the soul likely needs Clorox.
In other words, if you can’t shake the darkness, it might be because there’s not enough light getting in.

2-Remember it’s not your war

All of this is accomplished in the Spirit’s power. The Israelites were told, “The Lord is with you.”

We’ve been promised,
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
(2 Cor. 1:21-22)

Above all, dear comrade, always remember who is really at war. Because this is the Lord’s battle, we can trust that doing our part to station, stand, and see is enough.

If He wants a multitude of 5000 fed, He can do it with a few fish and bites of bread.
If He wants to proclaim His message and see 3000 repent, He can do it through an ordinary fisherman who just denied him 50 days earlier.
(Actually, He can do it without any of this, but you get my point, right?)

You are small, but you’re not insignificant.
Your calling is to obey, not orchestrate the outcome.
The enemy seeks to destroy you, but it’s not about you.

Yes, you’re enlisted in the army — with battles to fight on the Lord’s behalf —but it’s not your war.

3-Make your battle cry a song

After receiving these words from the Lord, the people rose early the next morning to meet the enemy in the wilderness.

Oh, did I forget to mention that little part? ~ smile.

Yes, verse 16 tells us God told the people to actually go down against the overwhelming, outnumbering enemy, not hide inside their gates.
I can’t even.
So we won’t.

Here’s the place I want you to go with me on this:

While they stood in the wilderness, waiting for the enemy to appear, the king reminded them,
“Put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established.” (vs. 20)

The very next verses tell of people praising God, and some even going before the army singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

God had this next detail recorded for us and I almost missed it.
Verse 22 tells us,
“When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against (those) who had come against Judah.”

Now, there are many songs of praise proclaiming God’s deliverance in the Bible, but this one is different. Here, He delivered them AFTER they began praising Him.

Does that give you chills like me?
This is trust personified — or rather — songified.
Established trust looks like worship and thanksgiving — even before anything you can see changes.

But we also know that praise is a powerful weapon, establishing a stronghold against the enemy and silencing the foe and avenger. (Ps. 8:2; Matt. 21:16)

That’s reason enough to go find your voice if you’ve lost it and turn up worship music in the background.

(Psst ~ see the P.S. for a step in the right direction.)

God will be glorified through delivering you

The Israelites’ story ends with this,
“The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.” (vs. 29)

Friend, whatever your enemy looks like, however big and insurmountable it seems, victory will come.
It may not be soon; it may not be in the form you’d wish, but your God is able to deliver. More than able.

When He does, your testimony of how He held you in the darkness will lead others to the light.

In the waiting, your battle cry will help others find their voice as together we proclaim,
“We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you, Lord!”

And even if — here on this earth — the odds are never (ever) in your favor again, if you know Jesus as Savior, you are favored by the Most High.
And that changes the game for all eternity.

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3 things to do when you don't know what else to do. Christians will be encouraged by this Scripture-based lesson. Taken from a powerful story in the Bible with inspirational quotes and wisdom from God's Word. Bible study for anyone battling discouragement.

ChristiWhen the Odds are NOT in your favor

Comments 19

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  1. Christa

    “Christian, Your calling is to obey, not orchestrate the outcome” I need to tweet this like 50 bajillion times so I see it all day long!

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  2. Ruthie Gray

    This right here: “Established trust looks like worship and thanksgiving — even before anything you can see changes”.


    I’ve been trying to get this point across to my MTO mamas, who are oftentimes down for the count. Praise is where God abides!

    I love this story, read it recently myself, and was encouraged again as I read it with the “Christi-spin”. As always, refreshing, challenging, and most importantly, TRUTH upholding.

    Also, I am cleaning house today and will be applying Clorox. :)

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  3. Dawn Boyer

    As always, I love the way you blend schemes and tropes to share your heart and lead us through His Word in encouraging ways. I kept coming back to the definition for stand… abiding behind…. that is going to sit with me a while today. As I think about all the verses that tell us to stand.. and to withstand, I will now be envisioning the abiding behind the One who is always on the offensive for me and who has always gone before me, even when my faithless heart has tried to flee rather than to stand.

    On a side note… I thought you may find deep joy as you have prayed for me and my girl, but she has found a church home and has been a diligent attender as well as a deep and intense love for His Word again. She started her own blog and has been able to write through the dark places that kept her from finding her place in Him. Still trusting God for His mercies in my children’s lives, but I am so thankful that I was able to stand, abide behind, His faithfulness to us…to her… and see how He works all things for His our good and His glory. God’s mercies, I can never count the many ways He displays them to me but I will march with praise in my mouth and see the way He stations me standing close behind Him to see His power and salvation displayed. :)

    Blessings friend!

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      Loved this update about your daughter. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks and just realized I didn’t reply.

      And you are one who exudes abiding, friend!

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  4. Horace@pleasingtothePotter.com

    What a fantastic follow up post Christi! I believe the Windex and Clorox should be kept close by. God instructs to always be on the alert! It is empowering to check our light to dark ratio in our lives. There are TV programs that I have removed from my DVR that at the time felt difficult but I have not even given them a second thought. As you indicated in your last post, Satan has a specific plan of attack for each of us. We must be purposeful and live our Christian life with intent to live for and please Jesus in everything we do. Thank you for sharing such honest and thought provoking posts. You challenge and inspire me to be a faithful soldier for Christ. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

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      Alert. You nailed it.

      Even when I know the battle is waging and know all I must guard against, I can still lose sight of the bigger picture and my call to obedience.

      Pray with eyes wide open :-)

      You always make me think. Love that!

  5. Linda

    Another great post to follow on from your previous one. Love how you have expounded on this passage from 2Chron 20.

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      Thank you for always being full of life-giving words. I was so thankful to have “happened on” this passage this week. God is so good and beyond faithful and He never fails to meet me in the middle of His Word.

  6. helloredds

    Another powerful and incredibly encouraging post, Christi!
    I am touched by this line, “Established trust looks like worship and thanksgiving — even before anything you can see changes.”
    You inspire me to sing today!
    Sure am grateful for you~

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