When Hope Came Down

Weighted down by the heavy yoke of oppression from Assyria, God’s chosen people lost hope. The royal family, once a mighty tree with its branches spreading far and wide, was cut down. Only  a stump remained, its roots decaying to nothingness.

It was from this hopeless stump that a tiny shoot sprouted forth. Unnoticed, ignored, and despised by many. Jesus, fully God, was born on the humbled ground of broken humanity. He became like us to suffer with us and for us.

“God became like us so that we might become like Him.
He came to this dung-filled dungeon we call earth and sat with us,
touched us, loved us, and called us to Him.
He also enters into the dungeons of our hearts
and transforms them.”
Diane Langberg

Is your heart deeply troubled? Does it seem like everything is crashing in on you and around you? Does the enemy of our souls pummel you with lies that there will never be any hope for you? That Jesus didn’t come for you, because you are too dirty and worthless?

God has sent His hope for each of us. Not one of us, no matter how badly we have sinned or how dirty and shamed we feel because of sin against us, is too hopeless for God to rescue and redeem. It is His delight to touch us with His love and grace. His arms are open wide to receive us. His passion for our deliverance seeks after us and draws us.

But sometimes our hearts can feel so dark and despairing that we have a hard time believing it, right? The devil works hard to keep our eyes and hearts closed to the hope Jesus has brought to this world. We look within us and are overwhelmed by our brokenness. We look around us and think there is no peace on earth.

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the history of Israel, God proved He reigns and His hope will prevail. Though His people suffered yet many more years of oppression at the hands of enemies, God showed that His sprout of Hope gained the victory. The enemies fell away and decayed while the Sprout grew and flourished. The King over all laid down His crown and was born in a stinky stable. Messiah, our promised Deliverer, came to pile on His love and mercy. To pull us up out of the pit. To invite our starving souls to His rich banquet of unconditional love and bottomless grace.

“He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced His chosen child, Israel;
He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what He promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.”
Luke 1:52-55 The Message

“When Hope Came Down”
by Kari Jobe

“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,
will brim over with hope!”
Romans 15:13 The Message

34 thoughts on “When Hope Came Down

  1. Your words are such a gift this morning! I love the image “dungeons of our hearts” from the quote above. I understand that deeply because God is taking me through a time of deep heart work right now. The enemy doesn’t like that so he does his best to derail me.

    Your words bring hope and light in this season leading up to Christmas. Love you, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Mary, I’m so glad you were gifted this morning with hope and light! I love that quote, too. To think that God desires to enter the “dungeons of our hearts” to transform us is such an unspeakable comfort, isn’t it? I’m sorry the enemy is working so hard to derail you. That can be so difficult. He knows so well when God is working in us and we are longing to be closer to Jesus. I love you, too! May we cling to God’s Truth with our hearts and souls and may God work deeply in us to remove all that is of ourselves and fill us with Himself!

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  2. The enemy is ever at work, plying his wicked trade to make us feel worthless and vulnerable. But as you have said here, Trudy, we have hope because of Jesus and His victory over death, His great love for us will always prevail. May we not take our eyes off the green shoot of hope!
    Blessings!

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  3. Such a comforting message of HOPE! The sweet, sweet, grace-filled message of CHRISTmas! God is not dead and does not sleep! He is sovereign over all. Thank you for these words today, dear friend! May the blessing you give be returned to you!

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    1. I rejoice that the message of HOPE touched your heart today, June. Yes, the “sweet, sweet, grace-filled message of CHRISTmas!” May our hearts always cling to the Truth that God never sleeps and is sovereign over all!

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  4. Oh Trudy, so beautifully written, peace-giving and soul-comforting. You hit on a theme that replays itself in my head and I strive so often to overcome: “Does the enemy of our souls pummel you with lies that there will never be any hope for you?” It always seems to catch me off guard. Thank you for speaking Truth into the lies. What a gift. Love, Deb

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    1. I’m so grateful your soul is comforted with God’s Truth, Deb. I know well that pummeling of those lies the enemy throws at us, so my heart aches for you. It is so hard sometimes, isn’t it? Love to you, too! May God help us to open our hearts to and cling to His Truth that can set us free from the enemy’s lies!

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  5. It’s so good reading that Scripture from Luke in the Message version. Somehow hits home more. That enemy is one sly snake, but thank You, Jesus for being our Victory.

    Yesterday, a year ago now, someone very dear to me gave birth to her baby girl much too early – she called her something that means “little shoot”. Around the same time – and yesterday again on her first birthday 😊-my daily Manna verse was this:
    1-5 A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch.The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight.He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.He’ll judge the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth’s poor with justice.His words will bring everyone to awed attention. A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked.Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.

    Isaiah 11:2-5 (The Message)

    It SO encouraged the Mama of this little one who started out in ICU, and me too. We then watched her go from one miracle to another- coming home just before Christmas Day. It was absolutely stunning seeing God’s hand upon this little bubba. I will always think of this Scripture as a prophetic gift of hope and life.

    I’m so thankful for the depths of God’s love- that He also goes deeper than the “dungeons of our hearts”. Otherwise I’d still be a Prodigal today. Thank you so much for this sweet encouragement, Trudy.

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    1. It warms my heart how God deepened the meaning of His prophecy of hope and life through the miraculous survival of one of His little ones, Anna. Thank you for sharing this. I’m so thankful, too, that God’s love goes deep into the “dungeons of our hearts.” His love and grace will always have the final say over those enemies that try to drag us down. May the God of green hope fill us with His joy and peace!

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  6. Dear Trudy,
    Oh, thank you for sharing these thoughts from the “God of green hope!” It always surprises me how easily my weary heart can fall prey to the enemy’s discouraging thoughts when I look around at the weight of all I feel. Oh, but even more quickly than the falling, is the HOPE that Jesus brings when I just glance His way. Your words were that glance for me today, dear friend, coming right after a series of hard phone calls. Thank you for pointing us to God’s great Grace and Hope in Jesus, the shoot from the stump of Jesse! Love and Hugs to you this Christmas Season! xoxo

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    1. Oh Bettie, my weary heart can fall prey to those discouraging thoughts so easily, too. But yes, as you say “when I look around at the weight I feel.” So true. I’m sorry for the hard phone calls. I rejoice that God used this to point you to the GRACE and HOPE that Jesus brings. Love and hugs to you, too! May we keep remembering to fix our eyes on Jesus and to drop our burdens into the pool of His grace!

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  7. It’s amazing how we can look back at the history of the Old Testament and see God’s faithfulness and that he has the power to bring new life from a lifeless stump. It’s definitely an encouraging reminder that hope is stronger and God’s purposes will prevail. I love the song and the quotes you shared!

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    1. Yes, HOPE is stronger and God’s purposes will prevail! It amazes me that He is not only powerful to bring forth life from a lifeless stump, but He delights to enter our dungeon of sin and to give His life for ours. Incomprehensible, isn’t it, Lesley? May He keep transforming our hearts to be more like His!

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  8. As always, I can so relate to your words here, Trudy. I think Satan has been working overtime on my mind lately. Those thoughts of shame come creeping in far too often. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement and the reminder that God truly reigns. Much love to you, my friend!

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    1. I’m so sorry those thoughts of shame creep in so often, Candace. It’s so hard, isn’t it? I’m so glad you are encouraged that God truly reigns. Someday shame will be forever silenced! I long for that day, don’t you? Much love to you, too! May we continually find our identity in Jesus who says we are precious enough to come down with His hope for us and to die for us!

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  9. Kari Jobe always sings such beautiful worship songs, doesn’t she? God is with us and our source of hope always. I know discouragement and confusion can grip me but then I am reminded to look up where “hope came down.” Always spreading the message of hope Trudy! Thank you.

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    1. I love Kari Jobe’s songs, too, Lynn. Yes, they truly are beautiful. So heartfelt. That discouragement and confusion can be so gripping, can’t it? I need to remind myself daily and sometimes often during the day to look up, too. It’s so amazing that God remembers us in love even when we forget to look up. He is so patient with us. May we fix our eyes every moment on our source of HOPE and remember He is with us always and forever!

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  10. Trudy, what a beautiful, hope-filled post. Our God is pretty amazing, isn’t He? Bringing life out of ruins, giving hope in places where it seems like there’s none.

    I loved this: “Though His people suffered yet many more years of oppression at the hands of enemies, God showed that His sprout of Hope gained the victory.” Hope did indeed gain the victory.

    Thank you, my friend, for this reminder. I hope your Christmas season holds many special moments and glimpses of just how much God loves YOU. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, our God is so amazing! God’s sprout of HOPE has and always will gain the victory. That is comforting in the midst of what we suffer on earth, isn’t it? Hugs to you, too! I hope your Christmas season will hold many glimpses of God’s love for you as well! And as you write in your post – “May we keep our hope steadfastly set on Him and Him alone!”

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    1. Thank you, Thrifty Campers. 🙂 I was just browsing your site. I love the Wordless Friday photos. 🙂 Also this quote you shared on a post – “When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” Thank you for the encouragement! May we look up and look for the precious hope God gives in rainbows!

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  11. Oh Trudy, what a beautiful, hope filled post! You grabbed my attention with the opening Bible verse from Isaiah 11:1 which ties in so well with my given word of “rooted” this year and reminds me of a poem I might share soon about Jesus being the stump of Jesse. My heart has felt like a horrible “dung-filled dungeon” of late, so I could easily relate to the very pertinent quote from Diane Langberg. I love the Longfellow poem and read it in my Advent devotionals a day or so ago. I’m grateful for the part you play in bringing God’s Hope down to others. We get blessed and encouraged here so much. Love and hugs! xox ❤

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    1. Thank you, Joy. I’m always delighted when readers find hope and encouragement here. 🙂 I didn’t share Longfellow’s entire poem here, but this is the part that resonates the most in my heart. Isn’t it such a comfort that even when it seems like hatred and injustice thrive, God is NOT dead? Neither does He sleep, but He knows and controls all things. He is still here with us, no matter what. He is still the King of the world. There is such hope, too, in knowing He is not only willing, but He passionately desires to enter our “dung-filled dungeons” to transform us. May He more and more deeply root us in His love and grace!

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  12. Beautiful, Trudy, our yearning for hope and our finding all we ever needed in Jesus Christ alone. Thank you for adding to the rich offerings of Advent … your words always touch the wounded heart.

    For you, dear friend, are a healer …

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    1. Your kind words bring tears to my eyes, Linda. I do so want to “touch the wounded heart” with our only hope in Jesus. Thank you, too, for adding to the rich offering of Advent. I don’t comment every time, but my heart is blessed by your daily photo and verse. May all our yearnings be filled in Jesus!

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  13. This post speaks straight to the heart, dear Trudy. It brings tears to my eyes to know the hope that He has given us! Thank you for sharing your heart of mercy and grace with me! And thank you for showing forth Abba’s tender love for us! ❤ and hugs!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. Hugs to you, too! I am moved with you to know the hope He has given us. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift! May our hearts be warmed with His love this season and always!

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