Hope Helps Me Hang On…

“Every day I put hope on the line.”

(attributed to Eugene Peterson)

     In Monday’s post, the first of Advent season, we recalled the hope of the nation of Israel. For hundreds of years, prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah.

     The Jewish nation hoped and waited for a savior for a very long time. More than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet, Isaiah, foretold the Messiah’s birth,

Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

     “Some scholars believe there are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. These prophecies are specific enough that the mathematical probability of Jesus fulfilling even a handful of them, let alone all of them, is staggeringly improbable—if not impossible.[1]

     The ancient Christmas hymn, O Come O Come Emmanuel summarizes beautifully the hope of many:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

     While the Jewish nation stumbled through many dark seasons, hope concerning the coming Messiah helped many hang on to their faith. Others lost or discounted the power of hope. They ignored the prophets’ words. Instead, they chose to listen to voices that led them into even deeper darkness.

     Hope is huge! Hope helps you and me hold on during dark days, or even long, dismal, seemingly hopeless seasons.

May hope be kindled in your heart this holy season of Advent…

Sue Reeve

  1. https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html

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