Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the thrill of hope

Isaiah 11:1-2

New Living Translation (NLT)

A Branch from David’s Line

 Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—

yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.

 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and might,

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Did you realize that this passage of scripture in Isaiah is a prophecy concerning the birth of baby Jesus?  Perhaps you did.  But, what struck me in this particular translation was the word "stump".  A shoot will spring up....something fresh and new and full of promise....out of something old. 

Can you even imagine life before Christmas?  Before the birth of Jesus? Before knowing Jesus?!  Wow.  So hard for me to wrap my brain around.  The prophet didn't even know JESUS.  When life is hard, when circumstances are unbearable and I don't know what to do....at least I know I have Jesus.  He is hope.

My favorite Christmas carol is "Oh Holy Night" and this year the line, "the thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices" jumped out at me like never before.  Oh, the thrill of hope, the thrill of Jesus! 
Many of you are facing hard things right now.  You may be struggling to find joy or peace in your current circumstances.  You need to know that you are not alone and that there is hope. 

Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Just as God used an illustration of an old stump in the book of Isaiah, out of it, He brought forth new life.  And that new life that He was referring to was JESUS!  I believe that He is at work now.  He can use whatever we are facing right now...He can use the old to bring forth something new.  He can bring forth hope and we will see Jesus.