Summary: The account of Jehosphat's miraculous victory over Moab and Ammon teaches us the benefits of facing every situation with praise and faith toward God.
Proceed With Faith And Praise, And Prosper
Copyright © July 2010 by Rev. Donnie L. Martin. All Rights Reserved.
Text: 2 Chron. 20:22
I. JEHOSHAPHAT’S BURDENSOME PROBLEM
A. Judah’s Enemies Were Preparing To Fight.
B. Jehoshaphat Responded With Proclaiming A Fast.
II. JEHOSHAPHAT’S BOLD PRAYER
A. He Acknowledges God’s Power.
B. He Acknowledges God’s Promise.
C. He Acknowledges Gnawing Problem.
D. He Appropriates God’s Protection.
III. JEHOVAH’S BATTLE PROCLAMATION
A. The Proclamation Of Victory Came Via God’s Priest.
B. The People Of God Responded With Prostration.
C. The Priests Of God Responded With Praise.
IV. JEHOSHAPHAT’S BATTLE PLAN
A. He Prompts The People To Trust God And Prosper.
B. He Prompts The People To Proceed Into Battle With Praise.
Intro: In most Baptist churches of our day, the title of this message would not be readily comprehended. Though many Christians tend to agree in principle with the idea of praise, not many of them really practice praise toward God. Even fewer Christians would understand the relationship between praising God and prospering.
It is sad that so little praise of God is heard in our churches these days. In many places, if someone were to say, “Praise the Lord!” or “Amen!” during the preaching, half the congregation would think that the person had suddenly lost his or her mind, or that a charismatic had slipped into the service. This type of attitude toward praise seems to be somewhat unreasonable when you stop to think about the many lesser things that folks shout and carryon about. Vance Havner once said,
The same church members who yell like Comanche Indians at the ball game on Saturday sit like wooden Indians in church on Sunday.1
I’m certainly not advocating a “pep rally” atmosphere in church; nor do I believe that people should utter insincere praise toward God. But the fact remains that praise toward God is a biblical concept and practice. And as such, it should not be confined to church services only. Praise ought to be a normal part of the Christian’s life.
Someone has said, “We set the mood for our entire day within the first three minutes after awakening.”2 I wonder how much more victorious our day would be if we would begin the day by praising and thanking God for His goodness? I wonder how much better we would come through difficulties if we would learn to praise God in the midst of them?
In our text, Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were facing a very serious situation. They were about to go to battle with some very powerful enemies. But when they faced this situation with faith and praise toward God, the Lord caused them to prosper in their campaign.
It’s my prayer that the Lord will begin to teach us how to maintain an attitude of faith and praise toward the Lord. It’s God’s desire that we “PROCEED WITH FAITH AND PRAISE, AND PROSPER.”
Theme: The value of an attitude of faith and praise toward God is seen in:
I. JEHOSHAPHAT’S BURDENSOME PROBLEM
NOTE: Obviously, some problems are worse than others. But why does God permit His children to endure so much difficulty? James Packer suggests the following:
Grace is God drawing sinners closer and closer to him. How does God in grace prosecute this purpose? Not by shielding us from assault by the world, the flesh, and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstance, not yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology, but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely.
This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another—it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road. When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, likely we would impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm brewing and our strength spent, and someone takes our arm to help us, we would thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn to lean on him thankfully. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confidence to trust in himself, to—in the classic scriptural phrase for the secret of the godly man’s life—“wait on the Lord.”3