07 Jul Hope in the Lord

Hope in the Lord

“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 loving-kindnesses 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.
(Lamentations 3:19-25 NASB)

At first glance you can feel the great sorrow that has caused the writer to be “bowed down” before God. Hopelessness is often born out of difficulties and painful situations and such is the case with the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote these words.

So what does Jeremiah do in the midst of his state of depression? He takes time to remember (or “recall to my mind”) the faithfulness of God. He recalls the loving-kindness of the Lord that never ceases and His mercies that never come to an end. He recalls that the Lord is his portion, the One who fulfills all of his heartfelt longings and brings him to contentment. And after he takes time to remember the faithfulness of God, Jeremiah is refreshed and able to rest in the hope (the absolute certainty) that God is forever faithful to His children. It is here in this moment of mourning that he chooses to hope, wait, and seek God. All because he was able to recall the faithfulness of God.

We can trust that God has everything under control, but as we’ve learned over the last few weeks, we need to hang onto our seat because the world around us is changing rapidly. No matter what, we know that God is still on the throne! Join me in daily approaching “God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).

There is no question that the world feels very unsafe, unstable, and insecure, and the tension we feel in this moment is real. Whatever it might be, whatever anxiety you may feel, in the middle of it all, Jesus is inviting you to talk to Him about it, to mourn with Him about it, as He reminds us of the absolute certainty that He will overcome.

Jesus was at a moment of intense anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane as he contemplated the gravity of the task before him, his upcoming death. He told his disciples to “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41 ESV). During these days, if all you do is watch the news, the lines at the grocery store, your retirement account, or the headlines, it can be easy to fall into some of the panic and bewilderment. We need to pray, to lay our anxiety before God and let his peace invade our minds and hearts. This is the hope we have in Jesus.

After years of using the One Verse Gospel, based on Romans 6:23, Legacy Christian Church transitioned to a new three-part approach to understanding and receiving this Good News about a year ago. See if you resonate with these elements in the Spring on 2020…

• Our Crisis – Our sin has separated us from God and His best for us. (Romans 3:23)
• God’s Cure – God provided a way out of our sin and back into relationship with Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus (John 3:16 and John 14:6)
• Our Choice – We must choose to respond to God’s Cure by hearing, believing, repenting, confessing, and personally identifying with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in baptism. (Romans 10:9-10 & 17 and Romans 6:3-5)

That’s the Gospel message and it hasn’t changed in over 2,000 years! However, do the words crisis, cure, and choice ring with a different intensity in the Spring of 2020? Have you ever felt, like me, that you were in control, only to now realize a person’s dietary choice on the other side of the world could so dramatically alter your life? That in the matter of a few shorts weeks so much that we have taken for granted…our health, our jobs, our routine, our entertainment, our vacations, our sports, our freedoms…could all be at risk. It feels like we are living in a crisis in our world, without a cure. No wonder there is so much hopelessness and fear all around us!

But friends, we have had a crisis in our midst long before COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis will pass; however, people will continue to die all around us every day. They were dying before COVID-19 and they will continue to do so, though we will soon stop getting minute by minute positive cases and death counts in our social media feeds. No matter what may threaten our lives here on earth, God’s cure remains the same. But we must make the choice to receive Jesus into our lives and receive His blessing in this life and life eternal.

I love Jesus’ words to His dearest friends when they were facing a crisis. ”I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT).
May each of us rest in His goodness, love, and faithfulness. We have a crisis and God has a cure. Choose Jesus today!

Blue Valley Campus Pastor Joe Greenhaw, Olathe Campus Involvement Minister Kari Wade, Director of Discipleship Luke Wright, and Executive Director of Administration Jamie Schools all contributed to this post.