We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Nate Hemphill.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.“
Of all of the prophets of the Bible, Jeremiah stands out as a champion of hope. Imagine being commissioned by God with a task to warn everyone around you of a coming judgement; a 70 year sentence of oppression, pain and suffering all due to sin. Furthermore, consider that your warnings would go unheeded and that you’d be ridiculed and imprisoned for speaking out. By the world’s standards, any of us would feel like total losers.
So what can we learn about hope from a guy like this? For many of us, 2020 and 2021 have felt pretty void of hope. We’ve lost so many loved ones, seen the world economy weakened, felt our communities divided, almost numb to the onslaught of bad news every day. It’s easy to have hope when things are going good, but it’s in times like these when we cling to any glimmer to help us through.
Just like Jeremiah in his darkest hours, we too must clutch on to God’s promises of deliverance and peace to know that he has not and never will desert us.
Today’s scripture says “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.” How encouraging is it to know that God’s plans for our future result in hope for you and me? It means that no matter what hardship we may be in now, or yet to come, we are not abandoned. Like the hot refinement process of a precious metal, the fire will eventually result in purification and strength. Take hope, for the Lord is on our side!
Lord Jesus, help me to see you in the midst of all of this darkness. Help me to hear your voice clearly even when I’m grieving and in pain. I pray that the challenges I’ve gone through will not be wasted; but instead you’d use them to make me stronger. Grant me a testimony to help provide hope for others today.
Let’s work to reframe in our minds the hardships we’ve faced, in much the same way that we do every day at the gym. These are opportunities for refinement, for strengthening, for muscle memory and practice. Invite God into every challenge and enjoy the journey.
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