In the darkest times, we need imagination and courage to hold on to a vision of a better world. If we lose heart, we inevitably become destructive, and things get even worse. But, if we can keep hope alive, we find the necessary inspiration to act creatively, faithfully, and graciously. Jeremiah proclaimed hope and a promise of restoration to God’s people. Even though they were tempted to believe that God had abandoned them, Jeremiah reminded the people that God’s love was eternal, and that nothing could separate them from God’s presence and care – not even their own sin and injustice. Even though the Temple had been destroyed, Jeremiah painted a picture of people whose worship was restored and vibrant because of God’s salvation.
The only requirement for the people to experience this new, restored world was for them to survive the time of turmoil. This hopeful vision was meant to strengthen and encourage the people, enabling them to survive whatever difficulties they had to face. The same is true for us. As we face the various crises of our world, we may be tempted
to give up hope, and stop living fully and courageously. But, if we can resist this temptation, stay strong and allow our hope to carry us through, we will find our way to the restoration we seek.
How can you resist the pull of cynicism and pessimism today?
Discipline: Staying strong in tough times does not keep us expressing our fears and grief. When we cry out to God, that is when we discover God’s presence and support. This is why lament is such a powerful practice. Today offer your cries of fear, grief and doubt to God and let God’s comforting presence strengthen you.
Pray: The world is a broken and painful place, O God, but I place my trust in your Reign.