To be perfectly honest, I’ve had a very difficult time deciding on a topic for this blog post. I want to say something that will encourage and inspire you, but I find that to be a hard assignment because last year was a difficult year in many ways and I have my doubts that this new year will bring much improvement.
I’m looking for hope in more than one way. I know if I’m going to find hope, the best place to start is in Scripture. I found some unexpected hope listening to a recent sermon by Trevor Barton, minister at The Creek Church in London, KY. My thoughts below are loosely based on his message.
HOPE IS COMING
As I consider this season and the part that hope plays, I wonder if this is how the children of Israel felt all those long years ago. Everyone knew the prophecies about a King who would come and save them—a King who would sit on David’s throne and rule forever. The prophecies had been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years — the King is coming…
But no one had heard or spoken any prophecies for over 400 years before that night in Bethlehem. It probably felt hopeless when the Jews looked at their situation. How could anything improve as long as they were under the thumb of yet another invading nation? Who would save them? Where is the King?
We actually have the advantage of Scripture that tells us where the King was. He was with the Father. John 1:1-5 says,
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Would he ever really come? Again, we have the advantage of Scripture and history that tells us how He came. John 1:10-14 says,
10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There have always been a lot of preconceived notions about how life should be lived. The King came to dismantle those notions and show us how to really live. The problem is, we like our preconceived notions. They give us a sense of control — we like that a lot.
The King is wild and free and that scares us now and it scared the Jews 2000 years ago. The way they dealt with their fear was to kill the King. Death was not strong enough to hold the King for more than three days when He arose.
THE KING IS COMING AGAIN
But He had to return to His Father. Acts 1:9-11says,
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Wow, did you catch it? Verse 11 is another prophecy about the King. This one says, the King is coming again!
I am so eager and ready for the King to come again. In the meantime I want to do a better job of living as He taught us. How do I lose the discouragement and embrace the inspiration?
The inspiration is in His Word. In John 16:33, Jesus says:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The King is coming again! Whatever was hard in the last year, and whatever seems hopeless moving forward, take heart — the King is coming again!