"But Jesus knew what they were planning. So He left that area, and many people followed Him. He healed all the sick among them, but He warned them not to reveal who He was. This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Him:
'Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
He is my Beloved, who pleases me,
I will put my Spirit upon Him,
and He will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not fight or shout or raise His voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
Or put out a flickering candle.
Finally, He will cause justice to be victorious.
And His name will be the hope of all the world.'" - Matthew 12:15-21 NLT
"We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you." - Psalm 39:6-7 NLT
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners," - Romans 5:3-6 NLT
Looking around the world, there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope. Evil seems to have free reign, oppression and illness appear everywhere we look. It's hard to find hope when you've been struggling with illness for ten years, or experience oppression from the culture around us. What answers could possibly quiet the questions that these unspeakable hurts provoke?
The truth is, there is nothing on this earth that could begin to assuage the hopeless situations around us.
The same was true when Jesus arrived on earth. The world had been rife with power-hungry, selfish people, and life-threatening illness. God's people were oppressed by one nation after another for hundreds of years.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God made many beautiful promises that would be fulfilled through His own Son, Jesus. His name would be the hope of the world. His name = His character. The essence of who Jesus is: the hope of the world. Only Emmanuel, God with us, brings any hope. Jesus coming among us gave a glimpse of the new earth in which all sad things will come untrue.
Our lives are only a shadow of the glory that's to come when we are face to face with God and we look forward to the day when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." - Revelation 21:4 NLT
During His time on earth, Jesus fulfilled the promises of this particular prophecy of Isaiah. Jesus brought more than hope by healing all the sick among Him, the Spirit of God was on Him. Now, thanks to Jesus life, death, and resurrection, we too have the Spirit within us. A glimpse of the Kingdom to come. Even now, we have hope in who Jesus fulfills all our questions, and quiets all our deepest hurts and longings. His humility undoes our selfish chases for power. Jesus' power over illness and even the waves of the sea, brings us hope that God is bigger than anything we will face. Jesus' tears over the death of His friend bring us hope in comfort through our grief. Jesus' compassion as He gazes on His beloved people fulfills the deepest longings of our very human hearts.
In looking around, the world will always come up void. We can find endurance, patience, character, and hope in Jesus. We can look back once again to Mary's song of praise. A thrill of hope filled her as she imagined the world with her baby boy in it. Jesus would grow to fulfill the needs of the oppressed and lowly. Now in His strength, we too can bring the hope of Christ to everyone around us.
Hard, honest question: how does Jesus fill the darkest parts of your life, and the world, with hope?
Read God on Mute for more about the ways Jesus brings hope.