Jesus, The Hope of a Barren Planet

Jesus, The Hope for a Barren Planet by Larry Sparks Day 22 Advent Devotional

Day 22 of the “What Child is This?” Advent Devotional

And his name will be the hope of all the world. (Matthew 12:21, NLT)

Mary gave birth to hope when she delivered her son, Jesus. His Name remains the solution to a barren planet. All one needs to do is simply look around to see that the earth and its inhabitants are currently suffering from barrenness. This is no physical lack; it is a deficit of hope.

Without hope, we are without possibilities. People don’t have faith because they have not first been introduced to hope. In Hebrews 11, the first “faith fact” we discover is that faith and hope are interconnected. Faith is an action word. The Bible tells us that faith without works is dead. Once we have faith, that faith—by nature—is active. It is kinetic. It is not passive by any means. Because it is God-birthed, and God-given, faith is a creative force. It brings resources from God’s world into this one. Faith is the tool that enables you and I to participate in what Jesus describes as “binding and loosing” in Matthew 16. Faith gives us the ability to release/loose on Earth the very things that are released in heaven, and likewise, it gives us the authority to forbid and bind on Earth the things that are prohibited in heaven.

Needless to say, faith is a powerful force. However, it is impossible for us to exercise faith without a foundation of hope. Hope positions our faith to be targeted at specific realities. Hope is what exposes us to the very possibilities that faith ends up releasing. Hope shows us what is normal in heaven and sets those realities before our spiritual eyes. Hope is what adds new possibilities to our belief grids.

And you know what I love about hope? Hope relentlessly gnaws at us. I know this doesn’t sound pretty at first, but just consider the nature of this gnawing—hope makes it absolutely unsettling to live pondering possibilities when we have the tool to make the possibilities realities through faith. Hope shows us what’s available and then faith makes it happen.

Hope makes living in the gulf between concept and reality restless. Hope causes us to press and push. Hope causes us to cry out in desperation, not for something new to come out of heaven, but for realities on Earth to come into alignment with realities in God’s world. Hope stirs up a divine discomfort with the way things are, pushing us towards exercising faith, for faith is the currency that bridges the great divide. Faith takes us from possibility to reality.

But remember, it all begins with hope. People across the Earth suffer barrenness because they are disconnected from hope. As the body of Christ, we need to be the loudest ambassador for hope imaginable. Because of our presence in the world, people should constantly be exposed to possibilities that were off their grids—first and foremost, the possibility of reconciliation to a loving Father through the work of Jesus Christ.

Advent Prayer

Father, help me become an ambassador of hope. May my life continue to introduce people to new possibilities. 

And above all, help me to reveal the heart and will of a loving Father who desires reconciliation with all humanity.

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What Child is This? Advent Devotional by Larry Sparks

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Larry Sparks About Larry Sparks

Larry Sparks is host of Life Supernatural, a weekly radio program that features bestselling authors, emerging filmmakers, and key ministry leaders. In addition to serving as the Director of Curriculum Resources for Destiny Image Publishers, Larry is president and founder of Equip Culture Ministries—an organization that equips believers with tools and resources to experience a life of sustained victory through the supernatural power of God. He lives in Florida with his wife and daughter. You can visit his website at and follow him on Facebook Larry Sparks or on Twitter @LawrenceVSparks.