Zechariah 9:12 “Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare I will restore double to you.”
What does it mean to be a prisoner? To be imprisoned is to be constrained under the authority of another. Many of us have not had this particular experience. It is a condition in which we are confined to a specified area with fixed boundaries and set rules. While most of us have experienced unwanted constraints in our life, we don’t know what it is like to live imprisoned every day.
The prophet Zechariah was called to remind God’s people to center their hope in their relationship with God. Among the messages he brings, is this message of hope and restorations; “Return to the stronghold you prisoners of hope.” God is saying to His people, return to the place where your boundaries are set by hope – and hope alone.
I’ve often thought of hope as a feeling, a buoyancy of spirit that keeps me afloat in rough seas. Here it is the enveloping of God that shields against all opposition. It is a place of habitation that endures all conflict, a confinement of confidence in the goodness of God.
A stronghold is a fortress meant to be impenetrable by opposing forces. This is the invitation of God. Enter the stronghold of hope that cannot be breached. Being a prisoner of hope is a self-imposed condition. We choose it.
Our hope is built on Christ, not on events. The stronghold is composed of the goodness of God, the truth of his love for us in Christ, and the assurance of a life made full in Him. If these boundaries are not set in place in our heart, then the stronghold is not going to hold.
The breaching of hope is always an inside job. We create the breach through which discouragement and disappointment enter when we partner with the enemy of our soul. Deferred hope will always seek to breach the stronghold. It is up to us – on what foundation will we build?
Come again and build the stronghold of hope by faith. Be imprisoned by the goodness of God and refuse to give up your position on the wall of hope. We do not place our hope in an outcome, we place it in the goodness of God and dwell in His stronghold of Hope.