As I watch the world, sometimes I wonder if it will survive. The stress points of society seem to continue to increase. The virus was stressful enough by itself. Then came the financial fallout as a result. These were uncharted waters; a global pandemic and a recession worse than 1929. Then the little boat of our country was pummeled by hurricane Racism. We reeled in its terrible winds. It seems to me that one more national crisis will be the end of us.
Yesterday, as I opened my Bible, these things were on my mind. How will this country survive? Will this country survive? Is the next generation equipped to handle and safely navigate these issues which neither us nor our father’s have been able to bear? My daily reading plan took me to Jeremiah 31 where I read the words below.
As you read these words, keep in mind that Jeremiah lived and was writing at a time when Judah was under siege by Babylon, the global superpower of the day. King Nebuchadnezzar had Jerusalem surrounded. The result was “sword, famine, and pestilence.” He eventually conquered and destroyed the entire city. Jeremiah saw all of this with his own eyes. One night he had a dream, and these are the words he heard spoken to him:
The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness.
When Israel sought rest, the LORD appeared to him… and said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
Hear the word of the LORD, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. Thus, they shall come and sing aloud… and be radiant over the goodness of the LORD.”
I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”
My people will be satisfied with my goodness.”
Keep your voice from weeping, and keep your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work,” declares the LORD.
They shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country.”
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
And I will make a new covenant with them… I will put my law within them, and write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. For I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”
God fulfilled that promise through a man named Jesus of Nazareth. On the night before his crucifixion, he sat with his disciples and said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” All of those sweet promises spoken to Jeremiah so long ago were fulfilled by Jesus. In his blood he purchased the peace that came into my soul as I read those words in Jeremiah 31.
The sweet promise that “there is a hope for your future,” is true for me through Jesus. The wonderful words that “my children will return from the land of the enemy” are true for me through Jesus. The intimate sentence that “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I will continue to be faithful to you,” is true for me through Jesus. The courage-building words that “those who survived the sword, will find grace in the wilderness,” are true to me through Jesus. I need grace now, for it feels like I’m in a wilderness. That sweet promise that “I will turn their mourning into joy, and give gladness for sorrow,” is true for me through Jesus. And those life-giving words that, “I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish,” are true for all who would believe them through Jesus. I need these words. Our nation needs these words.
Is your soul weary? Is your soul languishing? Is your soul sad within you? Do you see no reward for your work? Are your children wandering? Is there more weeping than rejoicing in your home or your heart? Do you doubt there’s any hope for the future? Are the hands against you too strong for you? Then go to God through Jesus. Receive these words as spoken to you, for through Jesus they are true. It was his blood that redeemed us. It was his blood that bought a new covenant. That covenant brings the gift of the Spirit who transforms us inwardly. He goes to work on the heart and transforms from the inside out. He can restore an individual. He can restore a nation. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord our God.
There is hope for future!