Walk In Hope

Dani Beth Crosby, Family & Communications Minister
ISAIAH 2:2-5
In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s house will be established at the top of the mountains
and will be raised above the hills.
All nations will stream to it,
and many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us about his ways
so that we may walk in his paths.”
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among the nations and provide arbitration for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war. House of Jacob,
come and let’s walk in the LORD’s light.
Over the last couple of readings, we have looked at our hope ahead, God’s eternal Kingdom—Christ’s eternal glory. Today’s passage gives us a glimpse into what God’s Kingdom looks like: A Kingdom of peace, or perfection, where all people groups come to delight in the Lord. One of the Hebrew words for hope in the Old Testament is the word qavah, which means to wait. Qavah is related to the word qav, the word describing a cord. Waiting in hope is like waiting for the tension of a pulled cord to be released. Take a moment to clinch your hands into fists, squeezing them tight. Then, release the tension, spreading out your fingers. We wait in hope for our full restoration in God’s perfect Kingdom. We wait in hope for the day our earthly struggle with darkness is forever conquered.

In preparing for Christmas, we look back and celebrate the hope we have in Jesus, who provided the way for us, humans trapped in sin, to have forgiveness and peace with God. While still living in this broken world, we wait expectantly for our hope to come, for our struggle with the schemes of the devil to be over, for the day when weapons of destruction and division are forever transformed into garden tools to cultivate peace, growth, partnership, and goodness. In the meantime, we are to live as people of hope, walking in the LORD’s light. As we walk, or run, we are to lay aside whatever hinders us from being children of light.

It has been a challenging year. Have you spent time praying about what sins or strongholds you may be carrying into this season? Take a moment to consider:
What feels heavy in my life?

What are my biggest challenges right now?

What consumes my thoughts?

What am I grieving?

What am I most anxious about?

What am I most afraid of?

Where am I feeling pressure to perform?

Release these things to God. Place your trust in our Eternal Hope.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11)

You are not alone in your struggle. You are part of a global Church, a royal priesthood. God calls you His own. One day, together with all nations, we will be fully reunited with our Creator in a new heaven and a new earth where will be eternally restored, established, strengthened, and supported. The tension will forever release and we will forever dwell in God’s perfect Kingdom. As we prepare our homes for Christmas, may we not neglect preparing our hearts to worship the coming King today and forever.

Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 21:1