December 14, 2015

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

I know that I’ve written on this verse several times in the past, most recently when the general theme was Hope, but it still speaks to me strongly, particularly in my present circumstances. We get taken prisoner by all sorts of things, almost always because we fail to keep our focus on God and His grace. However, we must not lose hope. The English, “prisoners of hope,” seems quite cryptic, but the Japanese renders it as “prisoners who have hope,” which makes a lot more sense. It is impossible to overstate the importance of hope. We had several months of daily Scriptures on the theme of hope. However, in most situations it is impossible to have hope without faith. Trying to do so is no more than wishful thinking. That’s why Paul so famously declared, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) The love in question there is agape, God’s love, and that is what makes faith and hope not only possible but practical. If it is impossible to overstate the importance of hope, that seems downright trivial compared to God’s love! It is His love that prompts Him to give us so many encouragements to hope, including this one. Our inattention and disobedience allow the devil to steal many things from us, but here God is saying that He will restore double to us, just as He did to Job. (Job 42:10) Sometimes we don’t realize exactly what it is that we have lost, and so we don’t recognize when it is restored double, but when we allow God to open our eyes and set our priorities it all becomes clear.

This could hardly be more applicable to me than it is right now. I have been in quite a funk, with emotional resources badly depleted, but God has brought me through. Yesterday’s joint Christmas celebration, for which I was the MC/linchpin, was more of a burden on me than even I realized, and I was quite aware of the burden! However, it is not only past, it went well, and there was opportunity for real ministry in the process. The busy season isn’t over yet, but I have peace and actual anticipation for the next two weeks, and that is a MAJOR change! There remain many challenges of various sorts, and new ones continue to be added, but my God is more than able to handle them, and He may even use me in the process.

Father, thank You indeed for all You did yesterday, and for all that You are continuing to do. May I indeed abide in Christ, my Fortress, recognizing Your provision of double everything the enemy has stolen, serving faithfully as Your agent in every situation so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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