prisoners of hope

by Pastor Mark Jordan

So here we are, the last day of 2018. How was the year for you? I remember saying in January that I wanted it to be, “Different,” and was it ever! There were some high highs, and low lows, but through it all I am blessed, because I know God is with me.

I ran across a verse the other day that made me stop in my tracks. Check it out and see what you think: Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (Zechariah 9:12, NIV).

The idea of a prisoner of hope is a strange one, isn’t it? Some translations refer to prisoners with hope, and prisoners in hope, but there is something about the idea of being a prisoner of hope that gives me pause. Especially today.

2018 is essentially done…in just a few hours I will share a New Year’s smooch with Tiffany, hug my kids, and thank God for the chance to spin around the sun once again. And since 2019 isn’t here yet — at least to me — I feel somewhat bound to the past while looking to the future. A prisoner of hope is quite a fascinating thing to ponder on the cusp of a new year.

Being a prisoner of hope is one thing, but that is far from the key to today’s verse. God said, “Return to your fortress,” which is why we can have hope to begin with. In a biblical sense, God is the fortress! Consider Psalm 18:2, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Returning to a fortress, therefore, means returning to God.

As we get ready to launch into 2019, I hope you choose to return to God, your fortress. Starting the new year right where you belong is critical. As a prisoner of hope at the end of one year about to begin another one, I pray you choose to start it with God. Let’s make the best of the rest of 2018, and get ready to shine brightly in 2019.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I stand here, humbly in your presence. As a prisoner of hope at the precipice of the years’ changing, I choose to return to you so I start 2019 off on the right foot. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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