Posted by Susie Woodbridge on 17 December 2014

The inspiration for Hope Is On The Horizon came from a conversation I had with a friend. He shared that he felt alone, confused and wondered if God had walked out on him. As I prayed for him, it was like I could see dark clouds surrounding him. I continued to pray and saw what looked like pockets of light breaking through the darkness. It was a picture of hope.

Isaiah 40 is a similar picture of hope for God's people at a time despair and confusion. Judah had been attacked by the powerful Babylonian enemies who raided and ruined their city (Jerusalem), destroyed their temple and carried them far away from home into exile. Why did this happen? Had God walked out on them?

In chapters 1-39 we discover the problem: Israel's sin, self-reliance, worship of created things and their choice to live in fear of powerful nations around them instead of having faith in the powerful God with them. God gave them multiple chances to turn back to him but they didn't take them. God was faithful to his word and they were carried off into exile (2 Kings 24:13-14).

If we dig a bit deeper we see it was in fact God who carried them into exile (Jeremiah 29:4). Even in his judgement God shows his grace, his plan and his love. In Isaiah 40 we see the dawn of a new day for God’s people - he was coming to rescue them (40:9-11). God demonstrated his faithfulness and did rescue his people through the Persian King Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) and brought them back home (Ezra 1:1-4).

As we fast forward we see this hope was just a small glimpse of what was to come in Christ, the true King and Messiah. Jesus came to rescue us from true exile, nailing our sin and fear to the cross. Lifted on high in resurrection and ascension he has brought us to life and will bring us to our true home with him. We have a reason to sing!

Maybe like my friend and like God's people of old, you feel that God was walked out on you. Know that he never will. Don't give up; hope is on the horizon. It's time to run in the light again.

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