WEEK 1: HOPE
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
(vss. 1:13 & 16)
HOPE is more than wishful thoughts or the biproduct of positive thinking. HOPE is the earnest expectation that whatever was promised will be manifested in due season... that which is desired will come to pass at its intended time.
Each one of us in whose heart HOPE lives, is never mired in the harsh realities of the world forever... never bogged down in life's challenges for very long. That is not to say that challenges and the heaviness of life do not affect us, or weigh on us, but that HOPE's compelling force wins out. So, we press our way because of a confident expectancy in the One who has promised... the One who has planted HOPE's seed within us.
As I read Luke 1:5-17, I see in the priest Zechariah a spirit of HOPE. HOPE is that core desire which moved him to pray for the blessing of his wife's womb long ago, to conceive and bear a child that, to that very day, remained unborn. HOPE is that driving force which continually motivated him to intercede for the deliverance of the community from oppression... an oppression that had persisted for generations. HOPE is that which compelled him to remain committed his whole-life-long to his calling of priestly service, even though that day may have been the first and only day in his entire life that Zechariah was chosen to enter God's temple and minister before the Lord.
When it comes to HOPE, we are to be both beneficiaries and benefactors alike. We are those who receive blessings and manifestations of good because others have prayed, walked, and lived faithfully. We are those called to do the same so that others are likewise blessed.
Like Zechariah, we don't know when, where or how the Almighty God will move... how the Lord will bring to pass all that for which you and I have been standing in HOPE. So, Let Us continue to stand in HOPE. Let Us persist in earnest expectation and unyielding confidence in the only One who can satisfy our longings... the only One who can bring that for which we HOPE to pass.