“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:1
For many families the Christmas season does not officially begin until the freshly cut evergreen tree is decorated with ornaments and lights. For the next month or so, the Christmas tree becomes a symbol of hope, peace, and joy. The official end to Christmas comes when that once bright shining tree is tossed to the curb as trash because it has become a reminder of death and decay. The story of the Christmas tree is a reminder each year that we aren’t to place our hope in material or temporal things.
Isaiah is writing in a hopeless time for Judah. The people of God rebelled, and they soon will suffer through captivity from the Assyrians. The people of God are about to lose everything–homes, jobs, and everyday comforts. But God reminds his people to hope in the promise of the deliverance that will come. God knew that, at the appointed time, the Messiah would come and restore all that was broken as a result of “the fall.”
Maybe this past year has been difficult for you. Maybe you are asking yourself, “Does God still care about me? Does He know the loss I feel in my life? Is there any hope?” Rest assured that God does care and know what you are going through. God provides Jesus to be your source of hope. This season, instead of looking to be filled with “Christmas cheer,” look to Jesus and be filled with hope. Throughout the rest of this week’s devotions we will see more about the hope we have in Jesus.
Dear God, thank you for keeping your promises by sending Jesus to be my hope. This season, help me to look to Jesus and be filled with hope. Amen.