Hope is a very powerful thing.  People will cling to hope far longer than many other things.  Sometimes in our life, hope is all we have.  Hope that things are going to get better.  Hope that this life is not all there is.  Now when I say hope, I don’t mean it in the sense of maybe something is or maybe something isn’t.  To me, hope is a quiet confidence that things are going to happen at some point in the future.  I have hope that things will get better, but only after this life ends.  I know that this life is not all there is, but rather there is something far better awaiting those who love and believe in Jesus as their personal Savior.

In Jeremiah 29:4-14 we see God’s people living in Babylon as captives and feeling as though they had no hope.  After all, it was their sin that had sent them to captivity in the first place.  Had God finally given up on them?  Had they finally gone too far?  Jeremiah was one of God’s prophets during this particularly difficult time in the nation of Israel’s history, and he wrote a letter to the captives in Babylon.  There in Babylon there were false prophets telling them people that they wouldn’t be in captivity very long and nothing would happen to their beloved city of Jerusalem.  Then there were other false prophets saying that the Israelites would never go back to their homeland, that God had permanently kicked them out.  Imagine hearing either scenario or both scenarios.  Who was right?  Would this be a short time and everything would be ok, or had they finally gone too far?  Day after day passed and nothing really changed, I imagine the Israelites were beginning to think they had messed up too big this time, and that God was done wit them.  In the midst of this, Jeremiah writes a letter to the captives to give them the hope that had all but seemingly disappeared.    First Jeremiah tells them, go on with your life, get married, and even pray for those in the cities you live.  In other words, don’t worry your present circumstances are not your final realities.  Secondly, Jeremiah gives them the exact time period they would be in Babylon (v. 10).  They would be in captivity for 70 years.  Now that could give you hope, because they could go back and figure out how long they had been in Babylon and that would tell them how much longer they had to go.  Next, Jeremiah assured the people that God had a plan for them (v. 11) and that He was in control.  Finally, Jeremiah reminded them that God had not given up on them and that He was with them, even in the midst of difficult circumstances (v. 12).  All they had to do was to seek God with all of their heart, and they would find Him.

Over two thousand years later, things are still the same for us today.  Life can be very difficult and sometimes it leads us to question if God is even there, or if He loves us, or if there is any hope for us.  If you are a child of God, you will always have His presence with you (1 Cor. 6:19), we can rest assured that He does have a plan for our life and that He is in control of that plan, even if it seems as though our life is out of control.  And we can know that as a Christian, there is an end to the problems, struggles, trials, and tribulations of this world.  It may not be exactly 70 years, but there is an end.  Hebrews 9:27 reminds us, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, then the judgment.”  We will all leave this world.  Revelation 21 tells us there will be no sorrow, crying, death, or pain in heaven.  Now if that doesn’t give us hope, I don’t know what will.

Dear Christian, I know you are hurting and I know life is difficult, but hang on because God does have a purpose, He is by your side to help you, and there is a better day coming!

I would like to ask those who read this to do one of two things.  If you are a Christian, write a comment on how God has been faithful in getting you through difficult times in life.  If you are not a Christian, please take time to contact us that we may pray for you and tell you how you can have a true hope that never passes or fails.

By His grace through His strength, may we live for Him!

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