Hopelessness is sticky. It is a deadend, a trap, a pit of quicksand. Hunger bears the impulse to eat. Thirst, bears the impulse to drink. Hopelessness has no such advantage. When we despair, the presence of hope makes us feel only more hopeless. We are confronted by what seems like another impossibility. The only thing that can get us out of hopelessness is faith in a promise that is stronger than our despair. The Gospel promises are the strongest and most difficult promises because they were foretold by the prophets and fulfilled in Christ. Because they are historic promises they can never change or fail, any more than you can undo history. And if God is so faithful to fulfill a promise He made 2000 years before, how much more will He be faithful in the promises He has made to you.
In Matthew 2:1-12 we find Jesus’ birth fulfills the prophecies of Numbers 24, Micah 5, and Isaiah 60. As the fulfillment of prophecy, He produces hope in the Magi and apprehension in Herod. Hope is dangerous to those who benefit from our hopelessness. Jesus, is a threat to all hopelessness, and if His hope is you, you are a threat too. Jesus’ hope, alive in you, will produce and raise the hopes of others.
Like Jesus, you may find yourself a stranger in your home land, avoided by the religious, and sought by those seeking hope. With this hope in us, though we are strangers everywhere, we are always at home. Though we are exposed and vulnerable, we are seen as a threat. When we are at our best, we disrupt the status quo with love, kindness, and generosity. You, like Him, may be called a “nezer” a little shoot, that is all it takes for God to change the world. Let that hope grow in you, and see what God does.