Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.[c]
Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the Lord. ~Zephaniah 3:14-20
Be joyful in hope, the Apostle Paul tells us. Cheerful in expectancy. Rejoice in our confident hope. Base your happiness on your hope in Christ.
I hear music bright and gladsome. I hear melodies rising from the earth. The notes create beauty. The harmonies proclaim delight. The song is that of hope filled joy, anticipation ringing out with each beat.
The joy is for now. Joy for what God has done. For the life that was born in a manger. For the good news that was proclaimed in the skies. The music is for the deep love of the Father He sings for His wayward children – for the captivated pleasure he takes in them. The song is the celestial strains of the angels crying Gloria with magnificent awe. The anthem is that of hope from the sinful people confronted with an undeserved hope -belting out praise in thankful wonder.
Though it may be nothing more than a groan today, genuine hope will always become a song of joy. How can it be anything but that when we realize the extraordinary promises wrapped up in hope.
It is not you only that hopes that sound out this day. Your brother sitting next to you, your sister walking beside you is also walking the path of hope, eager to see their wrongs righted and your brokenness healed. The whole earth cries out in hope – longing for complete restoration. The angels wait with sacred anticipation to see how their Lord and Master will bring newness to all things. There is a song of hope sung in all the corners of the earth.
But more profound than all of this is the hope of God. To see his creation, his people, his passion in such desolation burdens his heart more than we can imagine. His master plan for the restoration we all hope for began the moment of the fall and has been in the works to this day. The birth of His precious son brought his hope closer, but still He waits, longing for the day that He can draw all people to Himself.
I can hear the song. It is growing louder, becoming stronger, growing in vibrancy. Sweet hymns of joy, strains of a passionate love, melodies of adoration. And the whole earth quavers. The whole weary world rejoicing. The angels chorus singing. The God of all creation reaching down with a swell of desire for His kingdom come. A thrill of hope.