The cost of living crisis. COVID-19. Global warming. War. Flash flooding. Traffic collisions. Cancer. Shootings.
The world is filled with immense pain and suffering. Every single day our TVs, phones, and colleagues inform us of the next bit of bad news. Nobody can escape it. It’s everywhere.
How could there be any sort of good, or hope, in the midst of all the pain?
Jeremiah, a prophet who we read about in the Bible, knew all about this. Jerusalem had just been destroyed by the Babylonians, and Jeremiah was heartbroken. With the city in ruins, the temple destroyed, and many people displaced or sold into slavery, we see Jeremiah’s immense grief described in the book of Lamentations, as he wept continually and considered all that had been lost (1:16-17).
While the book of Lamentations starts off as just that, a lament over everything lost, Jeremiah’s attitude soon changes. There is a turning point in chapter 3, where his heartache turns into hope.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (ESV)
Why does Jeremiah have hope amid his mourning? Because of God! And why can we too have hope? Because of God!
Jeremiah knew who his God was – a God who is steadfast in love, rich in mercy, and great in faithfulness. What an awesome God! Understanding these characteristics of God can give us a totally new outlook on the situations around us.
If you’re a Christian, you can live a hope-filled life! Jesus, the Saviour of the world, came to earth as a baby, which is what we celebrate at Christmas time. He grew up, lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose again, so that He could offer us the hope of eternal life. And He also promised to come back.
This Christmas, be encouraged that Jesus is our Living Hope, and that no matter what your circumstances are, there is great joy ahead for those who love Him (1 Peter 1:3-6).
By Bethany Pierce