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HOPE

Weekly Devotionals

HOPE

14 ‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness.’

Jeremiah 33:14-16

I can’t believe it’s already almost December, I was just getting used to writing 2016 but we are only a month away from a new year.  Yesterday was the start of this year’s advent season, Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and Ends Christmas Eve.  This year since Christmas Falls on a Sunday we get full 29 days of remembering, celebrating, anticipating and rejoicing in Jesus.  Yesterday being the first Sunday of Advent we celebrated Hope.

Martin Luther once said “Everything done in the world is done by hope”.
Everyone of us, we are created to Hope which means all that we do, our decisions, choices, relationships, joys and pains are all fueled by Hope

So What is hope?  Hope is an expectation and it is an object.  Hope is an expectation that fuels all that we do.  Many of our parents, worked 2 or 3 jobs as immigrants hoping that we would have a chance at far better future.  As a kid, I remember my parents working multiple jobs often late hoping that my sister and I would have greater future.  Also Hope is an object.  Some put all their hope in their study, career, spouse, parents, child or in themselves to provide stability, happiness, and fulfillment.  Truth is when we put all of our hope in any of those things; they will eventually disappoint us no matter how promising he, she or it may be.

Jeremiah 33, Jeremiah is put in prison by the king of Judah for delivering God’s message.  The Babylonians (the bad guys) are coming to take Jerusalem any minute now and the whole city is shaking and trembling in fear.  The context of our text tells us that the Israelites were in a very bad shape, physically, politically and spiritually.  When everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong, God comes to Jeremiah with this message of hope.

Here are two observations from the Jeremiah text.

1. Hopelessness is the gateway to Hope

When the Israelites realized that they couldn’t hope in anything else: not in their military power, not in their city walls, nor in their strength, God says I’ll give you hope.

Sadly, often when we have exhausted all of our resources and have no other place to turn, that’s when we remember the goodness of God.  Luke 15, the younger son refuses to go home when he had ran out his money.  He thought he could work and provide for himself but it’s only after that plan failed miserably, while fighting pigs for food he says “how many of my father’s hired men starve? No one” It’s the goodness of the Father that propels him to return.  God does waste our hopeless state; rather He uses it to reorient our hearts back to Him.  We know many stories of people that found Jesus out of their hopeless state.   Failed businesses, failed health, failed marriages, failed careers and God does not waste those opportunities.

Hopelessness is the gateway to Hope

2. God promises restoration of His people
V6-7 God will restore His people and they will be made new again.  God promises to bring healing, peace, security, restoration and forgiveness to his people that are in utter chaos and hopelessness.  The recent news of the president of this nation has not only left people in anger but utter hopelessness.  Millions of people have gone out to the streets to demand for the current president to step down from her office.  This should cause us to pray and our prayer is for God to reorient the hearts of the people in this nation back to Him.
“Our hope is in God who will make all things new again”

How are all these promises fulfilled?  How will God restore His people? How can sinful people be reconciled to God? The answer is found in v15-16

v15 I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.   V16 “The LORD is our righteousness”

The object of our hope is not a thing, it is not a place, it is not a situation, it is not an experience but it is a person and His name is Jesus.
587 years later this prophecy (v15-16) becomes reality in a small insignificant town called Bethlehem.  Jesus through the line of David came into the world He created.

Jesus Christ came into our broken, lost, and hopeless world to rescue us.  He lived the life that we could not live and died the death that we deserved.  There on that wooden cross;  all of our sins, shame and death.  He took our sins upon himself and put on us His righteousness.  When God, the Father sees us he no longer see our sins but rather He sees Jesus’ righteousness.  He sees all the things that Jesus had done right, His faithfulness, His obedience, His compassion and we get credit for them.

That’s the good news and true reason for hope in this Advent season.  I know how easy it is for us be distracted with all that is going in Christmas season.  We have trips to plan, parties to attend and gifts to be purchase and the list is long and time is limited.  I pray for the next 29 days we will be intentional about celebrating and loving Jesus.