by Stan Smith
The year is ending. A new one is coming. It's often a time for reflection, for evaluation, for resolutions.
When Jeremiah reflected, it wasn't a happy consideration. Jeremiah was a prophet to Judah, warning them that the same thing that happened to their northern sister, Israel, would happen to them if they didn't repent. It was a sad task because Jeremiah, like Isaiah, knew that it was a task that would not provide positive results. He knew that they wouldn't repent and he knew that they would be exiled. And they were.
It's a difficult situation sometimes. We wonder, "Why am I here? Am I doing any good? Am I helping?" We hope against all the evidence that we are, but it just looks bad. We question ourselves. We question God. Like Jeremiah, we lament. Often, at the end of a year, our reflections may cause us to be sad over such things. So let me suggest Jeremiah's line of thinking as we consider the old year and the new one to come.
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 3:21-26).
Jeremiah did not feel good. He didn't see any evidence of reasons to rejoice. He didn't feel any hope or pleasure. He was at the end of his rope. So it wasn't his feelings or his circumstances that would help him out. What was it?
"The Lord is my portion. Therefore I have hope in Him."
As you head into this new year, you can reflect on all the negatives around you. Times look bleak for Christianity in America. The world is growing more and more overtly hostile to us. It doesn't look like good is winning. And you ... you may feel like you're not accomplishing anything. You may feel like you're failing at whatever it is you believe God has asked you to do. Indeed, you may be. But remember: "The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning." Remember, it is His faithfulness on which we stand. It is Hisgrace on which we rest. It is His power in which we operate. His mercies are new every morning ... and every year. "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."
Something to count on. A sure thing.
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I'm married with four grown children and (currently) four grandchildren. My wife and I live in sunny Phoenix by choice. I hope to encourage people with my words and to share with others what God has shared with me.
For more writings you can see my blog at birdsoftheair.blogspot.com.
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