Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
What is hope? We say we hope for so many things in our lives and the lives of others. We hope that we get that job we want, we hope that we get a nice car, we hope that neighbor that revves the engine of his truck at 1am moves…. we hope for so many things both good and bad but what does hope truly mean?
There are several different definitions for Hope but in this instance, we use the following definition, “Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.” (Noah Websters Dictionary) While we look back at Christ’s birth we hope in a savior that is coming again to bring us to Him. While the world crumbles around us we have hope in the knowledge that this is not our home. We are strangers in a strange land, but Jesus is preparing an eternal home for us.
Hope is something that we cling to, that we embrace. Hope is our eternal rest. We know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that He keeps His promises. (Heb 13:8) That He who started a work in us will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6) and that if we sow and we work the harvest we will reap it at the proper time. (Galatians 6:9).
Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) but we can rest peacefully in the Hope that we have in Christ. As we continue to celebrate and remember Christ’s birth and His second coming, we have hope in a risen savior who loves us. A God that demonstrated His love for us that while we were still dead and depraved in our sin, Christ came to earth and died for us (Romans5:8), so that we could be born a 2nd time and be adopted into the family of God. What peace it is to have the hope of Christ in our lives.
“Father, just as You sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus,
me to clear the path in my heart, too. Show me the distractions in my life that block me
from all-out worship of You this Advent. Lord, I await Your coming! As I celebrate the first Advent––the first coming––I look toward the day where I will see You face to face
I imagine what it will be like. Give me a heart, Lord, that looks for Your coming on a daily basis. Help me to live my life where I’m constantly seeking Your presence.
My offering to You today is my righteous life for I know I am only clean because of Jesus.
Show me today how I need to be refined, purified, forgiven.
Give me the strength to ask for forgiveness and to then change my ways.”
~Sarah Martin, from “The Awe & Wonder of Advent: Day 18”
- Reformed Study Bible Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 (ESV)