Proverbs 13:12 states: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” As we prepare to bid farewell to 2013 and welcome in 2014 some of us are doing so with hearts of profound gratitude and others of us are reflecting with a measure of disappointment and even “heartache”. Whatever your personal situation is, I want to invite us all to read Lamentations 3:19-26.
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 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.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Aggressive Babylon had moved through the cities and villages of Judah asserting its dominance until it reached Jerusalem. After a lengthy and painful siege, Jerusalem collapsed and this book is the tearful mourning of a man who faithful called his people back to God, but never witnessed his objective fulfilled. However, even amidst incredible remorse, guilt, sorrow, and confusion, Jeremiah offers hope. He says…
Look at the past (3:19-22), and see how God has always been faithful with a “loyal love” (hesed). Look closely at the present (3:23), there are mercies and blessings to be enjoyed today. Look with hope to the future (3:24-26), for God is worth waiting for – He is not finished doing His work. He can be trusted!
Yes, we look forward to the “Blessed Hope” of Christ’s return, but we can have hope today. As we anticipate 2014 – let us do so brimming with hope and anticipation. We will have challenges, but God is full of loyal love and mercy and wants us to live with hope and inspiration.
Partnering together for hopeful things in 2014,