Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.) Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news and sought the Lord for guidance. He also gave orders that everyone throughout Judah should observe a fast.
—2 Chronicles 20:2-3
Jehoshaphat received a bad report! A negative report can knock you down, as illustrated through the bad report given by the ten spies in Moses’ day. Your response to a bad report is critical, as it often determines the outcome of the situation.
Jehoshaphat’s response teaches several lessons. First, don’t respond in fear, but in faith (2 Chronicles 20:3). Second, find a promise that fits your case and stand upon that promise, using it as the basis of your prayer (v. 9). Third, based upon that same promise, claim your inheritance and stand your ground, resisting all “claim jumpers” (v. 11). Fourth, turn the battle over to God (v. 15). Finally, praise God for the victory in advance (vv. 21-22).
The world views a bad report as the definitive statement of fact regarding a matter. As a Christian, however, you know that you can reverse an evil report. Jehoshaphat’s ordeal was transformed from the dreadful fear and alarm of the first report to the joyful, triumphal return to Jerusalem.
The same battle plan that Jehoshaphat used will work for you. Fear not, find a promise, claim your inheritance, turn the battle over to God, and praise Him in advance. You will surely win!