Read Isaiah 9:1-7
9 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan –
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Hope is all about future reality.Why is hope so crucial important? It shapes your life. We are hope based creatures. If we lose all hope, we die. We must have hope to function as humans. Where is your hope? What is your hope based on? What is your hope? What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for? What are you living for? What shapes your choices and decisions? What most influences your thinking and behaviour?
Our ultimate hope – Impacts our immediate life. “Biblical hope is life shaping certainty about the future” writes Tim Keller. Living now in a way that is completely changed because of what you know will happen in the future. Being certain of the future.e.g. The sun will rise tomorrow. We are hope based creatures. We are controlled not by how we live now, but what we think will happen latter. Christian hope has to do with the ultimate future, not the immediate. Our hope is not in leaving this world but in God’s promise to make everything new, when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev 21). And we get to join with God in the renewal of all things.
“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” — C.S. Lewis
Isaiah saw the hope of Jesus in the day to day reality of the exile. Where do you see signs of hope?
Today, where things seem hopeless, pray to the God of hope, that His Kingdom would come, His Will be done in your life, on earth as it is in heaven.