(Zech 9:12) Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you.
Think about this past year. So much has happened. It’s been a time of struggle in our nation. It’s been a time of struggle in our own lives and in our families. But a new year is upon us and we are ready for a change. Can we put the past behind us or do we have to be held captive to our burdens for another year? I’ve got good news for you. God’s going to make you a prisoner of hope!
Israel was coming home. They had been in captivity in Babylon for seventy years for their idolatry. A new era was ahead of them. They were leaving the past behind. The prophet Zechariah was prophesying about their future. He was speaking of their Messiah who would come to them and build them a new tomorrow. Based upon these promises they were then prisoners. Not of Babylon. Not of their disgraceful past. But they were prisoners of hope. They were now bound by a promise of a brighter day ahead. Their past was forgiven. New glories awaited them as they returned to the land to rebuild their Temple, rebuild their city, and rebuild their lives.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like us? Things happened that put us in a bad way. Maybe it was beyond our control. Maybe it was our fault. Whatever the case may be our lives seem to be in captivity. We become captives of poor circumstances. Poor choices. Poor prospects. But then we hear the Word of God and we start to get encouraged. We hear the message of grace and love through Jesus Christ. We respond with hope. Our spirits revive and we start feeling better about our expectations in life. We break out of the bondage to our past and it’s affects upon our lives. We now feel bound up in a wonderful outlook on what will be. We don’t know all that lies ahead but excitement builds in our hearts in regard to what God is going to do in our lives.
Listen to what God told Moses: (Exo 3:7-8) And the LORD said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. God sees our oppression and sorrow. God hears the cry of our heart for freedom. And God has come down to deliver us from bondage and bring us into a good land. Jesus said . . . I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
May you abound with hope in the coming new year (Rom15:13). Happy New Year in Jesus!