August 26, 2022
We all face moments, even seasons, where we lose all hope. When we realize a physical problem is not going away, a prodigal seems unreachable, our finances are overwhelming, a business or ministry is failing, a marriage seems beyond repair … when God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers.
Hope is essential. It’s critical for survival. People who take their own lives are always tragedies of hopelessness. They feel trapped, and suicide seems like the best possible option (which it is not).
But give a man or woman even a small amount of hope, and they can go on. They can endure anything and find rest even in the darkest places. Humanistic hope is helpful, but hope based on God is the most powerful antidote to the despair we sometimes feel as we walk through this fallen world.
Jeremiah lived during a season of Israel’s history that seemed hopeless. The people would not turn back to God. Jeremiah’s “ministry” seemed a failure. God’s discipline took them into Babylonian captivity, and still, they would not turn. Their captors were seemingly invincible, and they despaired of life.
Jeremiah was overwhelmed at times himself. But he saw reality because he walked with God. He remembered the truth. He came back to hope in his Father's never-ending, daily faithfulness. How can we do the same?
Real spiritual hope is based on the character of our perfect God. Jeremiah remembered these five things:
Have you lost hope? There is only one remedy: you must remember God. Remember His character, remember His promises, and remember what is ultimately ahead. You must wait for Him and seek Him, even in your pain. When you lose sight of Him, you’re headed back to hopelessness. So you must remember AGAIN (and again and again).
You must “strengthen yourself in the Lord” as David did. The place to find this is in the Word of God, by the Spirit of God (our great Comforter), and with the people of God. He has never failed one of His children who looked to Him. Never.
It's essential that you pursue Him until He restores your hope. The world is watching those who claim to belong to the Father to see if Christianity proves true in the places they are facing. Our greatest witness if always in our darkest season. And God--our faithful, merciful Father--is always there.
Father, we’re overwhelmed with You. You have given over 7,000 promises in Your word to those who seek You. Your character is the center of our hope, the ground of our joy, the refuge for our contentment. Lead us there and keep us there, Father, so our hope-filled lives can be a testimony to a hopeless world.
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