For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
There are two definitions of hope that I find interesting. The first is the human, earthly form of hope which can be defined as “desiring very much, but without any real assurance of gaining what is desired”. For instance, I often sit in the office and really hope that when I get home my Mum will have made a huge chocolate cake for me to eat that I don’t have to share with my brother and sisters. This might happen because my Mum is amazing, however, I don’t have any certainty that this hope will be fulfilled.
The other definition of hope that interests me more, which I believe is a stronger form of hope can be defined like this: “a confident expectation and desire for the good that is coming in the future”. The first definition of hope describes something that is uncertain but this is NOT what this second definition is expressing. It not only desires for something good in the future, it also expects it!
I have sometimes imagined hope as a reservoir. When someone or something knocks me down, I feel abandoned or alone, or life just generally sucks I can dip into my ‘hope reservoir’ and gain the emotional resources to pick myself back up again. But really hope is more than just a resource to repair the damages. It is so much greater than that!
Throughout the Bible, God makes a promise to his people when they are in their darkest hour, that he will send something to pull them out of that darkness. On the 26th of December (Boxing Day!) the film Exodus: Gods and Kings comes out. It tells the story of God sending Moses to stand up to Pharaoh who has the Israelites (who were God’s people) in slavery. Obviously, I haven’t seen the film yet so I don’t know how the story is portrayed but it is based on a story in the Bible, which includes a distinct message of HOPE for the future. God tells the Israelites to paint the blood of a lamb on their doors to protect them from a plague. This lamb represents the promise that Jesus will come and be a final sacrifice so that God’s people will never die.
When I read Isaiah 9:6 which was written about 700 years before Jesus was born, I am reminded that God had an amazing plan all along and his promises are trustworthy. This means we can have a great HOPE for the future, whether life is going swimmingly or times are really hard.
Ellie finished her A-Levels this summer and is now taking a gap year in which she is undertaking an internship at The Point Church. As part of her internship she studies Theology at St. Mellitus College in London and is on the Share The Hope team. Ellie loves to spend time in worship and is so excited about what God is doing in the world today!
Promises can be so easy to break and they often give people finger crossing hope that is not expectant. Share some hope today by making someone a promise that they can expect to be fulfilled.