Returned Hope

2018-09-09 17.53.29

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – Joel 2:25 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zechariah 9:12

Hope has a name – it’s Jesus. He is able to restore the years the devil took from you. Jesus is in the business of making all things new! The Hebrew word for “create” used in Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.) is bara and means to create something from nothing. Yatsar is also Hebrew for create but means to create something from something.

Bara is the word used in Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit with in me. It is also the word used in Isaiah 65:17 Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 

This same God who can create new galaxies, creates new hearts! How great a love that forgives and restores! The heavens He created, Psalm 19 1-4 says, declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech of language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. God uses His creation to remind us of His constant presence among and within us. There is nowhere we can go that would escape His creation thus His reminders are everywhere! The continuous changing of seasons reminds us He is always moving (John 5:17). He is aware and involved in our details.

Zechariah 10:11 They will pass through the sea of trouble… That said PASS THROUGH! God promises trouble in this life (John 16:33) and sometimes God takes us through to the other side and sometimes He takes us straight up to Him through it; we will be blessed if we do not fall away from the faith on account of how He chooses to do things (Matthew 11:6) after all we only know part of the story (Deut. 29:29). Zech. 10:12 I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will walk, declares the LORD. 

One example is Mordecai in Esther 2:21-23. He uncovers an evil plot and although Esther credits Mordecai he receives no recognition from the authorities. This event leads directly into chapter 3 which immediately depicts Haman (not Mordecai) being honored by the king higher than all the other nobles. Things only go from bad to worse as Haman comes to despise Moredecai so much he wishes to kill off Mordecai and his entire race!

Mordecai could have turned his back on God wondering why was this allowed, after all he had done nothing wrong, actually he had gone out of his way to do good, he had even refrained from taking evil revenge on Haman when he was wronged.  Yet in his conversation with Esther (4:14) he displays that he believes his God to still be good. The road for him and his people was not easy but he was brought through and in this case Mordecai was given honor in the end on earth far above what he ever could have imagined. (Esther 6)

How are we able to live out the second greatest commandment if we do not daily desire to obey the first?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;

Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27

Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being. Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. When we reverence Him as our Creator we desire to love others (even the mean ones) out of reverence toward Him.

Think of a child you tell to be gentle around an infant. The child is weak and even though he may try to gently touch the infant all too often those touches are wacks right, because they lack the strength to control themselves. However a strong father having all the physical strength to squash the infant is the one who can truly administer gentleness. Strength under control is ultimate strength. The ability to restrain when you have all the power to unleash can be incredibly hard. Thus when we begin to understand even just a little bit the awesomeness of our God and what Jesus did for us through His sacrifice on the cross and His gentleness toward us we can not help but fear Him, to love Him. Then we can show others gentleness (even the mean ones) because we desire to show gentleness and love toward the one who showed(s) it to us when we least deserved it. Whats more it’s not even our love its His love poured out in and through us Romans 5:5)! He generously supplies all that we need to glorify Him!

Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

It is easy to let the troubles, the mean people of this world get us down but God asks us to praise Him in all things and for our own good! Look up into all creation and be reminded of His awesome love for you, He is the great I Am! He promises to draw near to you when you draw near to Him (James 4:8). Your Creator desires to return hope to all your hopeless places just look at the caterpillar turned butterfly! He is able!

Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Lord, please increase our trust as we pray for eyes that truly see and ears that truly hear and a heart that desires You above all. We praise You Jesus that hope has a name and it is You, the One that is able to make all things new and beautiful in Your perfect time. We will praise You because You are the returner and restorer of a living hope within us.

Independent Read: Colossians 1:16, Romans 1:19-20, John 3:16, Romans 8:28, Gen. 50:20

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