July 24. Isaiah 35 – 36.
It is perhaps one of the most powerful forces in life. Even in the smallest of doses, it can transform a situation, a life, a future. It is hope.
Judah was attacked by the Assyrians, pending doom and destruction was upon them, but God’s plan and His Word turned the tide and the immediate result is what is contained in chapter 35 – restoration.
Someday at the end of the great tribulation and the battle of Armageddon, God will once again restore and heal His creation. God and His Word, always offer hope for a nation or for an individual.
Let’s look at this for a moment – hope: A simple dictionary description of hope is – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Hope can stop a suicide attempt. Hope can raise the fallen to their feet again. Hope can allow the words “I forgive you,” to roll off of a tongue again. Hope is powerful. Every person you know needs hope, for the big and little things in life. You need hope. Hope that “it” will be okay.
Now let’s consider this about hope; anyone can have hope and experience the benefits of having it, but hope for a Christian, a follower of Christ, a child of God, goes beyond all other hope that may be available in this world. Now look at our simple definition for hope once again; a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen – now add the authority of God’s Word, His character, and His promises, and hope looks like this: a sure confidence and desire that a certain thing will happen. It moves from a feeling to a certainty. A doctor or counselor may be able to offer hope through their knowledge and expertise but that hope does not come with a guarantee. Hope connected to God’s character and His promises – now that is a hope that generates a sure confidence and desire that a certain thing will happen.
Do you see the difference?
Isaiah 35:3 With this news bring cheer to all discouraged ones. 4 Encourage those who are afraid. Tell them, “Be strong, fear not, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame man will leap up like a deer, and those who could not speak will shout and sing! Springs will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, with springs of water in the thirsty land. Where desert jackals lived, there will be reeds and rushes!
There is hope for the lost because of God’s promise of eternal life. There is hope for forgiveness. There is hope for eternity. There is hope because God is good. God has good news for you today to bring you cheer, to encourage you, to save you. Hang in there, there is hope.