It’s Saturday night. You and a couple of friends decide to go to the newest, hippest restaurant in town. The problem is this is a very spontaneous decision, and no one has made reservations. But you are desperate to get in and getting very hungry, so you go anyway. There is a long line outside, apparently waiting for a table. You approach the maitre d’ and ask, “Table for 3, please?” You are asked for a name for your party and you give it. Despite the long line and your lack of planning ahead, you are hopeful you will eat at some point tonight. Suddenly, the maitre d’ looks up and says, “Oh, yes, here you are. We have your table all ready. Please follow me. We put you right by the window, just how you like it!”
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says to us, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.” In Isaiah 40:1-3 He tells us, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
Hope! That is what we have in Christ Jesus. Hope! Hope is a powerful weapon. It lifts our eyes above our circumstances, and it goes hand in hand with our faith in what we cannot see. We hope, we have faith, because we believe. Jesus came to set us free. The message we have for everyone is that by hoping in Jesus, believing in Jesus, we are not stuck in our lives. We are not stuck in poverty. We are not stuck in addiction. When we put our hope in Jesus, mental illness is no longer an incurable, generational disease. That terrible habit you can not break? Gone, in Jesus’ name! That cycle of behavior you feel stuck in? It’s over, when we hope and believe in Jesus.
But what is best about this hope that Jesus brings, is that it is not just hope. It is hope fulfilled. Isaiah’s prophesy ends with reference to the coming of Jesus. Isaiah, and all the people of the Old Testament, had hope in a promise that had not, yet, been fulfilled, but we live after Jesus’ resurrection! Praise God! Our hope has already been fulfilled. Jesus said, “It is finished.” He did it! It’s done. The reservation has been made. All you have to do is ask. As James writes, “You have not, because you ask not.”
Imagine if you had just gotten in line at the restaurant and began waiting just like everyone else. You would never have known that a table was set and waiting for you, since before you even arrived.
That’s what God did for us. He paid the price and set the reservation. We have access to the table. The Psalmist says, “you have prepared a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.” Jesus says all we have to do is ask.
Stop waiting in line. Get to the front of the line and ask for your salvation, your healing, your provision, your freedom. There is a future waiting for you, one that is hope fulfilled with exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or think! Praise God!