Half-Hearted Hope

December 1, 2021

Micah 5:2-4 NIV

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.

Today's Reading: Micah 5:2-4

Devo Author: Ryan Ceola

Date: December 1, 2021

Have you ever looked forward to something that didn’t turn out like you hoped? Maybe it was a vacation, a purchase, or a season of life that held so much anticipation you got excited every time you thought about it. And then when it came, it didn’t live up to the hype.

Years ago, I heard Chip Jackson tell a story of buying a convertible during an especially difficult season for his family because they needed to have fun. My wife Brooke and I did the same thing in 2020. Since high school, I’ve wanted a Jeep Wrangler. Since then, every time I needed to trade vehicles, I made some attempt at buying one, but it was never practical. This time we threw out practicality and bought a Jeep. I finally had the vehicle I had dreamed about for over 20 years. We had a lot of fun with the top down and the music loud, but guess what? Summer in NWA is hot, and kids get louder when they’re crammed in the backseat. At some point, while getting sunburned at a stoplight, I realized a Jeep wasn’t what I hoped it would be.

Do you remember March of 2020? I remember the shock of everything shutting down. I remember the consistent thread of hoping for a time post-pandemic, when concerts happen, movies come back, and life as we knew it returned. I remember making statements akin to an on-screen near-death experience where the character wakes up and embraces the life he took for granted. We all looked forward to that day so much, many of us thinking it was right around the corner. Then, as the pandemic took its course, we realized that “life as we knew it” may not come back the way we thought, at least not overnight. As this reality sank in, hope dissipated.

We’ve all heard, many have said, and some have believed that Jesus is our only hope. Yet we continually get our hopes up for almost anything but Jesus. Micah speaks today, just like he did 700 years before the birth of Christ, and calls us to raise our gaze. He calls us to look beyond the temporary afflictions and temporary hopes of this world to a new kingdom. A kingdom where “he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth” (Micah 5:4 ESV). It’s a message of hope for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed. A message of hopeful repentance and restoration for those who have aligned with power. You don’t have to live too long to experience the hopelessness of hoping in our world’s systems. Today, let’s repent from our half-hearted, near-sighted hope. Jesus is our only hope. He will reign and His Kingdom will be one of peace. Let’s fight against hoping in anything but Him.