When Becky and I attended marriage preparation classes almost 11 years ago, we were given various nuggets of wisdom such as 'never go to bed angry' and 'forgive one another quickly'.
The one which has been most helpful as a husband, and now as a father, was this: 'Choose your battles carefully'.
There are some battles that simply aren't worth fighting. Even if you win the battle, you might lose the war.
You can end up expending a lot of energy and emotion on something that wasn't even your battle to fight. So, save your strength for issues that really matter.
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat receives news that three enemy nations are about to attack.
Rather than reacting with blind panic, we are told that "Jehoshaphat resolved to enquire of the LORD." He didn't simply ignore the problem and hope it would go away. He took the situation to God. He then led the people in prayer, fasting and worship. Look at what he says to God:
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." (v. 12)
Isn't that a verse for the times we are currently living in? When you feel powerless, overwhelmed, anxious and fearful for the future, reset your focus on the One who is in complete control.
Intentionally shift your attention from whatever is coming against you to the God who reigns over you.
As the King lifts his eyes to Heaven, look at how God responds:
"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…" (v. 17)
Jehoshaphat is told that God will win this battle for him. All he would have to do is stand firm in the face of his opposition. He wouldn't have to fight it, but he would have to face it.
At a time when everyone has an opinion about how we might move forward as a country and how we should deal with current restrictions, the best thing God's people can do is to fix our focus on God, stand firm in faith and allow God to do what only he can do.
In the end, Jehoshaphat enjoyed the spoils of a battle that he didn't even have to fight. Similarly, 2000 years ago, Jesus took up our battle against sin and death.
Through the cross and resurrection, we too can enjoy the blessings and benefits of his victory.