Part 1 – The Day of Hope
Our sovereign Lord God always remains faithful to His elect children, even when they wander. The nation of Israel really wandered and were disciplined by the Lord by being dispersed (northern kingdom) by the Assyrians, and taken into captivity (southern kingdom) by the Babylonians. Although Israel was being disciplined for their rebellion against the Lord, He spoke through the prophets – and in this particular case, Isaiah – to give the people hope that they would be eventually delivered from this particular act of oppression, but more importantly, would one day be ‘rescued’, ‘delivered’, ‘saved’ from the oppression of sin, the devil and the world. And that Deliverer would be the Messiah – Jesus Christ.
But surely the Israelites were discouraged during their time of dispersion and captivity, and had lost any hope of redemption. When one loses hope they turn to despair. Hope brings comfort, assurance, and a confident expectation that what the Lord has promised will come about. He promised to release the Israelites from their captivity, and He did. He promised to send a Redeemer to save His children, and He did.
There are five factors that help us trust a person – to believe that they can be counted on, and these five are perfectly fulfilled in and by our Lord God Almighty.
1. If you know the person well, then you will know whether they can be counted on. When we came to faith we came into an intimate knowledge of the Lord God, and it is His desire for us to grow in our knowledge of Him.
2. Is the person (the Lord) sincere? Jesus died on a cross for us – we KNOW He’s sincere!
3. Is the person doing the promising trustworthy or faithful? The Lord God’s very nature is to be trustworthy and faithful, so we can have a confident expectation that He will fulfill His promises to us.
4. Is the person capable of fulfilling the promise? The Lord God is sovereign over all of His creation, so He is MORE than able to keep His promises to us!
5. Will this person fulfill this promise legally? Jesus – the perfect man (as a human He truly represents us) – fully God (without sin so He could legitimately take our sins) – the just and holy wrath of God was placed upon Jesus, which legally paid our debt of sin, and allows the Father to declare us justified – made right before the Holy Lord God. So, the Lord can legally bless us and make His blessings accessible to His children.
We have hope - a confident expectation of God’s blessings, and eternity in His presence because He is our perfect sovereign God. So, when life seems to push you into a very dark corner, you can rest assured that your Lord God, through Christ, will eternally rescue you.