Summary: What do you do when your situation is so desperate and seems completely hopeless?
FINDING HOPE WHEN THINGS SEEM HOPELESS
A. OVERWHELMED BY HOPELESS SITUATIONS.
2 Chron 20:1-3a 1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar.” 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid...
The King is in a Crisis that seems hopeless.
You know you are in a crisis
(1) You are afraid.
Vs 3 He is afraid. Fear is a great tool of the enemy. Fear causes you to make mistakes. Fear causes you to falter in your faith. Fear can hinder our relationship with God. Cause us to sin. And Satan controls people thru fear to bring us down/destroy us.
(2) You feel powerless.
Vs 12 “We are powerless.” He is the King. He has his army. He has some allies. Yet this problem hit him so hard and unexpectedly that he feels overwhelmed. He knows that none of these things can match the problems he’s facing.
What does it mean to be powerless?
* I don’t have the ability to fix the problem, to change it, to reverse it, or to avoid it. And I don’t know anyone else that can help me.
* Jehoshaphat says I’m in a Crisis. I have a huge problem bearing down on me (2 armies). It’s running my emotions, I am afraid. I feel powerless because I don’t have the power. Even if I had the power, I couldn’t fix it, because I don’t know what to do!
B. THE SEARCH FOR HOPE.
Where do you go when you’ve exhausted everything you know to do?
Exactly where you should have gone to in the beginning. The Lord!!
1. Seek the Lord.
(Vs 3) He turned his attention to seek the Lord
You get in the Word. You begin to line yourself up with God.
Is 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Newsflash: God is near in your problems. He likely allowed these problems to hit you hard because you were slipping away from Him. He allowed you to be knocked around so you’d come back to Him! He is telling you today in the middle of your problems to Call on Him/He will answer you. Refuse Him and you’ll go thru it alone!
2. Fasting and Prayer.
(Vs 3) He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
We seek the Lord by spending time with Him in prayer. And, when things get bad enough, there is a secret weapon called fasting. Fasting is like putting your prayers on steroids. \
* In the Wilderness, Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days.
* When the disciples failed in their attempts at driving out a demon, they went to Jesus and He revealed to them a spiritual weapon.
Mt 17:21 this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Fasting is God’s way of taking our focus off of our own pleasures and desires and placing them on God. God is inviting us, thru fasting, to a closer and stronger experience with Him.
2 Chron 20:12 we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.
Confession involves admitting to God our sins, our failures, and our total dependence upon Him.
* God, I have messed up. I have sinned. Please forgive and fix me!
* God, I am weak. I am not strong enough to bear this load. Please help me.
Paul realized this. In 2 Cor 12, Paul had this to say....
2 Cor 12:9-10 9 He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul was saying “If you think you’re strong enough that you don’t need God, then God will let you dangle over the fire. But, if you confess your weakness and ask Him to come into your situation, then God will empower you and make you stronger!”
4. Praise and Petitions.
* There are all kinds of prayers. There’s prayers you pray when everything is going well. In those times people often struggle to find things to pray about, because, you know, you ain't spiritual if your prayers don't last at least 5 minutes. right? We pray the Miss America prayer, "God give us world peace". We pray the 5 yr old child prayer, “God bless Ma,Pa,Grandma, and John Boy and, and, and, Sue Ellen, Bobby, and JR.”