Hope Often Comes After Horrific
Many people know this verse from Jeremiah, chapter 29: 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. This is a well known passage of the Bible and often, rightly so, is used to bring comfort and peace to God’s people. God speaks of giving His people a future and a hope. What some might not know is that this sentence comes as God’s people are being carried off into captivity by the nation of Babylon. This sentence comes after revealing that God’s people will spend 70 years in that captivity. The hope that God speaks of comes after a horrific event.
This is like the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus brings hope. But it came after a horrific event, the crucifixion. The death of Jesus didn’t bring hope…only horror. But the resurrection brought the hope. The key for those of us who are followers of Jesus is not to “bail” on God after the horrific. God’s hope doesn’t keep us from getting sick. It doesn’t keep us from getting used and abused. It doesn’t keep us from experiencing sin and suffering. But the hope is there all the way through those events. The hope of the resurrection was known by God before the horror of the crucifixion. The return of God’s people to Jerusalem was known by God even as His people were being carried away, and many killed.
The Christian life is not sundrops and lollipops. The Christian life is hope in the midst of the horrific and yet the sure and unmistakeable promise of an eternal hope that banishes sin and death forever…I’m all in for that! I hope you are as well.