I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
What is it that you focus on when times are difficult, really difficult?
The people had been crushed. Jeremiah is weeping on behalf of all God’s people. He is crying out to God in desperate despair. He questioned God and why he would allow such things to happen. Jeremiah cries out to God in this acrostic poem with statements such as, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the LORD’S wrath,” and “He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones,” and “he has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.” It is as if Jeremiah is climbing over bodies in a desolate wasteland screaming out to God.
Maybe today you feel like Jeremiah. The fires are burning just miles from where you live and the beautiful forests are going up in smoke. Humans are fighting over what they think is right and good with no mention of God or His promises. You turn on the news, greeted only by disagreements and arguing, and changing to the sports channel doesn’t help either. God seems so far off as if He has been buried in the rubble of human selfishness and pride. Today you might feel like Jeremiah saying, “My soul is downcast within me.”
But Jeremiah does something incredible in verse 21, he shifts his thoughts from his circumstances to his hope.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Hope is a human thing; we all hope in something. Everyone is hoping in something or someone. Hope is not contained to a political party or an ideology. Hope is not contained in a friend, a spouse, a family member, a career, or a lifestyle. We all hope in something, but what is it that you are hoping for? A new career? A new relationship? Prosperity and peace? Ultimately, we will be let down.
Christians are a people of hope, and we don’t hope in our current situations or our future circumstances. We as Christians hope in Christ alone and that is our identity. We have been called to a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). We have been called to be a people who trust in God’s promises and give witness to that hope to others!
“Christian hope is not saying “Let’s build something better down here” which is what politicians promise. Christian hope is not about escaping the world somehow saying, “I wish I wasn’t part of this hopelessness; I wish I would just die.” The thing about Christian hope is that is neither hope in something down here nor hope in something up there, but it’s hope in Christ- it’s hope in a person. It’s hope in a person with whom we have a relationship, and that person comes in our midst and God’s promises are yes and amen in this person in Christ. That makes Christian hope quite different, more sustainable and nourishing in difficult times. Don’t look up there or down here for your hope because you are going to be disappointed. Always look to Christ for our hope and God’s promises in him.” – Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez
Join us Sunday as we do what Jeremiah did, we turn our thoughts and minds to God’s love, His Mercy, and His faithfulness in Christ alone.
I can’t wait!