Summary: The original meaning of gospel hope is strongly united with Grace. In other words, when someone was in a posture of hope they were solely depending on the Lord's grace. “God, Your grace is bigger than…”
A Posture Of Hope Second Chronicles 20:1-4NLT
The story is told of a pastor of a large church who had a dream one night that really opened his eyes. He dreamed that he could see his own church worship service on Sunday morning. But there was something very strange happening.
The choir was singing. The mouths of the choir members were open......but no sound was heard.
The people in the congregation were singing. But there was nothing from their mouths, either.
The pastor himself got up to preach his typical Sunday sermon. He opened his mouth to preach.....but nothing came out.
There was absolutely no sound at all in the entire worship center. Then, the pastor saw a little girl up in the balcony and heard her little voice singing, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."
The pastor was confused and suddenly woke up.
"Lord, what was I dreaming? It doesn’t make sense to me." He asked.
The Lord spoke to his heart and said, "Pastor, you just saw a picture of what I see in your ministry and in your church every Sunday morning. People are singing and you are preaching.......but I hear nothing. Your heart is not focused on me. You are focused on yourself. The only one I heard in your church last Sunday was the little girl in the balcony who matters to very few people in your church. But she matters to me......because she came to church today with the right motive: to love me with all of her heart!"
After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. 2 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.)
3 Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
Notice that Jehoshaphat’s first response was terror and fear; however, he didn’t camp out there, he didn’t stay in that mindset. He moved rather quickly into a mode of seeking prayer, asking the Lord what to do. Requesting Judah to begin fasting.
These 4 armies were more than enough to destroy Jehoshaphat and his army. In-fact, these armies were known for destruction. They were the offspring of Lot and Esau and their intentions were to dethrone Jehoshaphat. Moreover, because of the mountains on the other side Jehoshaphat couldn’t see them coming, presenting more threat.
After Jehoshaphat’s initial reaction, Jehoshaphat begin to seek the Lord. He was in a posture of hope.
Usually in this day and time, people use hope in a negative manner like, “I hope I get better’ or ‘I hope God will come through.” However, That’s not gospel hope, that’s kind of sickening.
The original meaning of gospel hope is strongly united with Grace. In other words, when someone was in a posture of hope they were solely depending on the Lord's grace. “God, Your grace is bigger than…”
Paul wrote in Romans 5:5NKJ Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Another translation say’s, “Hope does not put us to shame.” We can have a true hope, a certain joy, confident expectation of good because God is good.
Look at Judah’s leaders next reaction: He bowed down and sought the Lord and said things like: 1. This land belongs to the ancestors of Abraham. 2. You alone are God. 3. We’re powerless, but You’re mighty. 4. In the past, You drove out our enemies.
What Judah and Jerusalem were saying is: “Do it again Lord!”
Remember this, satan is after your worship. In the NT, Matthew 3, satan didn’t come to Jesus and try to get Him to serve him. No, he wanted Jesus to worship him. The reason for this is, “The one you worship is the one you’ll serve.”
I want to give you a life key, are you ready? Turn to Psalm 118:1NLT Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Now listen to the final verse in Psalm 118:29NLT Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Now listen to Psalm 118:8-9NLT It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
Hear the results. Psalm 118:10-14NLT Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.11 Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.12 They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord. 13 My enemies did their best to kill me, but the Lord rescued me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory.