Hope When Life Looks Hopeless
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21–23)
Today there are many people around the world for whom every day is an intense struggle, if not for survival, at least for hope. While for most of us paying bills, getting physical checkups, and balancing a social life is the norm, for others poverty, disease, and persecution are the routine.
One person I read about was rejected by his friends, his family, his co-workers, even the ruler of his nation. He was ultimately imprisoned and died a martyr’s death, never seeing any of the fruit of the labor of his faithful life. It’s hard for most of us to relate to such realities—to live with such painful obstacles every day, to find relief only in death. It’s amazing to me that this person who lived with such trials also wrote, “Therefore I have hope” (Lamentations 3:21). Jeremiah the prophet was a hopeful man in a hopeless situation.
Defining hope is key. It is not wishful thinking of the sort our lives are full of: “I hope the economy improves”; “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow”; “I hope my child makes the honor roll.” Those statements express hope of a sort—but not biblical hope. Biblical hope is akin to biblical faith: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Jeremiah’s hope was not wishful thinking; it was evidence of things not seen. He had hope because of the Lord’s great love . . . [because] His compassions never fail. . . [because] they are new every morning . . . [because] God’s faithfulness is great. Biblical hope is based on the character of God . . . not a circumstance or human ability.
If you are in a situation that seems hopeless, be a person of hope by maintaining certainty about God, His compassions, His mercies, and His faithfulness. Your situation may seem hopeless, but that doesn’t mean you have to be.
Heavenly Father, I am thankful there is always hope where You are concerned. In circumstances that seem hopeless, help me keep my eyes on You, the God of hope. Amen.
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