I read in the news yesterday that 1 in 5 people in the US has lost a loved one to Covid. Other countries may be more or less, but the pandemic has brought home the reality that we are not long for this world. Then what? What perspective shall we have?
For those in Christ, Paul’s words yield a firm answer.
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
Take a moment to reflect on this passage and consider these questions:
Few of Israel’s prophets suffered more varied or prolonged opposition, hostility and persecution for their faithfulness and messages. Jeremiah witnessed the total collapse and defeat of the nation, the occupation and destruction of Jerusalem and the enemy carrying away the captives to Babylon. Death, despair and destruction were all around him. In the midst of this kind of calamity, how would we think he felt?
Jeremiah records his emotions and feelings in Lamentations. He is honest and transparent. What stood out to me as I read this short 5-chapter book this week was his perspective and hope. Here are verses that can feed us with hope no matter our circumstances.
“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:19-26)
Take a moment to reflect on this passage.
What are the pressures you feel are about to overtake or overwhelm you?
How does Jeremiah’s perspective challenge you? Give you hope?
What is the source of Jeremiah’s hope?
What might the Lord be saying to you from this passage?
For a number of days I have been pondering Psalm 62 in light of our current political and and cultural difficulties. Here are a few verses that stand out to me.
“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Ps. 62:1-2)
“My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Ps. 62:5-8)
Take a minute to reflect on these verses and consider these questions:
1. What am I depending on? 2. Where is my hope? 3. Where does the Lord fit into my answers?
May you find refuge in the One who was, is and is to come.
This morning I spent some time pondering some verses in Romans. I was struck by how much what we all long for is provided to us through Jesus. Jesus is the solution and often, walking with Him, takes us through some difficult times. But the end is secure in Him. What we long for is found in Jesus.
Take a moment to read this passage.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rm. 5:1-5)
Here are a few questions for reflection:
What are your longings?
What does this passage bring to your mind?
What hope does this passage give you?
Take a moment to thank Him for all He has done and is doing for you.