'Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord,’ 2 Chronicles 20:3a
Those who long to serve God will not be spared tribulations. On the contrary, tribulations are necessary to learn to truly obey God. Even of Jesus it is said, that He learned obedience from what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Real life is - therefore - unthinkable without trials and tribulations. When we become aware of this, we come to desire not to avoid the tribulations anymore, but to fight the good fight of the faith. King Jehoshaphat fought the good fight, and we may learn from it.
When we face tribulations, we can - of course - sing bravely: ‘Be not afraid, only believe…’ but one cannot sing fear away, unless the singing becomes a holy rejoicing before the Lord. Jehoshaphat did this and shows us the way to come to this singing before the Lord, even when surrounded by adversities. Are we willing to go this way in submission to God?
When Jehoshaphat got scared, he resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. So he involved all who – like him - had reason to be afraid. Fasting as it is meant in the Bible is: being so focused on what God is going to do, that food and drink just slip one’s mind. So it is not: being focused on ‘not eating’, but being entirely focused on God. ‘The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord’. When we try to ‘get back in God’s good graces’ by going around with an empty stomach, we still do not know God as our heavenly Father, and we are to be compared to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel…
That god is dead and does not answer, even if we would let our own blood flow for him (1 Kings 18:28).