The Birth of Hope
The more things change, the more they remain the same. Despair, depravity, defeat, dissipation, drunkenness, death, deception – before Jesus’ birth and today.
Isaiah 35.3-4 can be read in both time periods by only changing ‘will come’ to ‘came’ in the last sentence. The hope that God foresaw, He brought to reality and now burns with intensity within every person who accepts Jesus as Savior. This gift of hope to us we are to give to others, especially those depressed by deficiency at the end of this decade. What hope do we have for ‘weak hands’, ‘tottering knees’, and ‘fearful hearts’? Let’s see what we can give;
Hope is the capability for victory.
- In Romans 4.21, the Apostle Paul states that Abraham was ‘fully convinced that what He had promised He was also [capable] to perform.’ His old age did not matter; Sarah’s ‘dead’ womb did not matter; God had said their children would be innumerable! He did not ‘waiver at the promise of God’ (verse 20) but was ‘strengthened in faith, giving glory to God’.
- Follow Abraham through his struggles against discouragement as Paul describes in Romans 5.3-5 how to grow in confidence in God’s capability to do what He says. Notice that the Holy Spirit walks the path with us to remind us of God’s promises and faithfulness. Romans 8.14
- Consider how other writers expressed their hope in God’s capability:
- Psalm 119.147; Psalm 138.2; Psalm 71.4-6;
- Psalm 39.7; Psalm 38.15; Isaiah 64.4;
- Lamentation 3.25-26
Hope is victory now!
- The context of Paul’s declaration in Colossians 1.27 is the persuasion of all mankind that Jesus Christ is Lord of all! ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ describes the dynamic life of the Christian and the source from within. We discussed this recently in our consideration of Mark 16.20.
- Disciples are to repeat the pattern given in Matthew 10.7-8, and Jesus will work through our words and hands to produce the results – now!
- Paul explains in Romans 8.10-11 how this occurs to us. So, the Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s promises and faithfulness and gives divine life within our fleshly bodies to believe and to receive the promise. It is as though He speaks through our voices (Matthew 10.19-20, 1 Peter 3.15) and touches through our fingers (Acts 28.8-9). He’s inside of us now!
- What do we want now? Victory over despair, depravity, defeat, dissipation, drunkenness, death, deception, and deficiency! God gave victory to us through Jesus!
- 2 Corinthians 2.14
Hope is victory for Heaven.
1 Substitute your name in Paul’s salutation in Titus 1.1-3, because he describes the Christian life. ‘Hope of eternal life’ is a certainty because ‘God, who cannot lie, promised before time began’. Jesus’ declaration in John 3.16 is true, as are verses 17-18! Note Titus 3.7 also.
2 The Apostle Peter stirs our imaginations of the ‘living’ nature of Heaven in
1 Peter 1.3-5. Paul reminds us that this is ‘laid up’ for us in Heaven;
see Colossians 1.5.
3 Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2.19 that sharing Heaven with people who have believed his message about Jesus will be his ‘crown of rejoicing’. How big will your ‘crown’ be?
4 Best of all, we will see and live with God, our Father – forever! You can almost hear the excitement in the Apostle John’s voice as he wrote 1 John 3.1-3.
5 Remember what Paul wrote to Titus: this is a certainty!
Praise God for His Hope that He birthed to us on Christmas! Jesus is Hope!