When You Have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


terrible day

  • (April 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
  • To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
  • To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.


“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard… and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst).

  • Paul won’t be his best friend anymore; he has to go to the dentist, lima beans for dinner!
  • As adults, we find these things laughable, but we don’t laugh when we have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
  • Last night I told Liza – “I don’t have a real life illustration.” This morning = van wouldn’t start, vehicle problems, etc. Many people have way worse problems I know.
  • What problem, trouble or challenge are you facing in YOUR life today?
  • Marriage trouble (divorce?), financial problems (debt, no job), health issues (chronic pain), relationship challenges (loss of a friendship), children (not serving God)
  • What do we do when those terrible, horrible days come??

THE BIG IDEA: The story of Jehoshaphat gives us some principles for what to do in the day of trouble.


“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude (vast army – NLT) is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared…” (2 Chron. 20:1-3a, NKJV).

  1. You can plan on tests from God. “Scripture assures us over and over again that we will experience trials and testings in our lives – difficult circumstances allowed by the hand of our Father.” (Ron Mehl).
  • Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
  • “The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.” (Ps. 34:19, NLT).
  1. You need to prepare your heart now for those inevitable tests. “Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.” (2 Chron. 19:3).
  2. When the tests do come, focus on God’s promises. “Get alone, get a promise, get serious.” (Ron Mehl).
    1.   What does the Bible say about this situation? “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).
    2.  Preach it! Quote Psalm 103: “Forget not His benefits…”
    3. Jesus’ teachings on prayer – if we ask anything…

1.                  THE HUMBLE PRAYER:

“3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord… 6 and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? … 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord. (2 Chron. 20:3-4, 6-7, 12-13).

  1. Seek the Lord in prayer and fasting (v.3).
  2. Remind yourself who God is – powerful and mighty (v.6).
  3. Remind yourself of what God has done – in the Bible and your life (v.7).

“When you see God, everything else seems smaller. The situation you face seems less intimidating and overwhelming… If you focus on God, the obstacles will always shrink because of your changed perspective. Our problems and our trials may seem huge to us – mountainous, towering, overwhelming – but they are insignificant to the mighty God of the universe.” (Ron Mehl).

  1. Humbly pray for help: “we have no power… nor do we know what to do.” (v.12).
  2. Seek Him together with other believers (v.13).

2.                  THE PRECIOUS PROMISE:

“14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”” (2 Chron. 20:14-17).

  • “I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1 NLT).
  1. Get alone with God in prayer and in the Word and get a promise. Expect God to speak.
  2. The Promise: Do not be afraid – because the battle is the Lord’s! (v.15).
  3. When you wait on the Lord, He will show you the plans of the enemy (v.16). “Now that’s better military intelligence than you could hope for with satellite photos and electronic listening devices.” (Ron Mehl).
  4. Stand still (v.17). “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). Wait on the Lord!

3.                  THE AWESOME ANSWER – 20/20 VISION:

“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chron. 20:20-21).

  1. Do what the Lord tells you to do! “God functions in the midst of obedience; Satan functions in the midst of passivity.” (Ron Mehl). “We know a lot more than we do. I’ve observed a good many believers who know the Word, who understand God’s promises, and who can quote Scripture until the cows come home. But it’s really not doing them any good until they begin to step out in faith and act on what they believe.” (Ron Mehl).
  2. Praise the Lord: For His mercy endures forever!
  3. As they praised the Lord, the victory came: “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” (v.22).
  4. Remember Paul and Silas in prison? They praised the Lord and were freed (Acts 16:20).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: “A Prayer that Moves Heaven” by Ron Mehl.


About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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