The people who walk in darkness will see a great light—a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow. Israel will again be great, and its people will rejoice as people rejoice at harvest time. They will shout with joy like warriors dividing the plunder. For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them … For a child is born to us, a son is given to us ...
Hope is a powerful force. It can keep us going when everything is falling apart. Hope is the expectation that even though life might be tough right now, somehow, at some time, everything will be fine.
Hope comes from the recognition that our past failures are not fatal or final. It gives us strength for the present and an excitement about our future. Hope senses that the best is yet to come.
If you have ever lost your hope you know how hard it is to keep handling life’s simplest duties. Hopeless people feel like the sun has departed and will never return. They are caught in the grip of a nightmare that seems to never end. Hopeless people have little energy and no enthusiasm.
Isaiah prophesied about the difference the coming of Jesus would make for people living in despair. He proclaimed that Jesus’ coming would “break the chains” that restrict our freedom and “break the … whip” that emotionally lacerates our souls.
When Jesus came into the world, hope entered. In Jesus we find a never-ending supply of grace for the mistakes of the past and precious promises from God for our present and future. In Him we find hope!
Perhaps you have been hopeless recently. Let Christmas remind you of the fountain of hope that is available in Jesus Christ. Drink deeply from this well. Get excited about the fantastic future God has planned for you. Be filled with hope!
Lord, often the chains of hopelessness have restricted us. Many times we have been beaten by the whips of anxiety and fear. We are grateful that you came to free us from these oppressors. We are grateful that you came to give us enduring hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.