Some days are longer and harder than others. On those days, it’s tempting to wonder if we’ve been forgotten about or abandoned. Even the strongest and surest of souls has entertained that lie, if only for a moment.
But there is a truth to combat such a lie! As I came across it again today, I found the assurance it brings has not changed over the years. Buried deep in the pages and the life of Jeremiah, a promise to God’s people in a time of deep distress, it still carries hope for the faintest heart today. It still speaks to you and me, if we are willing to hear. This is what God said, and is still saying, to the ones who wonder if He is still there:
“If you can break My covenant with the day and the night so that one does not follow the other, only then will my covenant with my servant David be broken. Only then will he no longer have a descendant (who, by the way is Jesus) to reign on his throne…”
“Have you noticed what the people are saying? ‘The Lord chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation. But this is what the Lord says: I would no more reject My people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky. I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David…Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them.” Jeremiah 33:20-21, 24-26
Have you ever felt uncertain of how things will turn out? Have you felt rejected and abandoned, unworthy of anything greater? Have others looked at you as such? Have you looked at the circumstances of your life and wondered where the hope could be?
God’s people, in Jeremiah’s time, felt the same way. They were facing judgment, well deserved. They had blown it, many times and in many ways. And judgment did, in fact, come. Yet before that judgment arrived, and even throughout it, God proclaimed His mercy and steadfast love toward them. He promised that, as sure as the sun rises and sets each day, He would forgive, heal, and restore everything. Jesus would still remain on the throne, even in the most devastating times of their lives.
Sometimes this is hard to imagine, I know. We endure long in situations that swell with grief, pain and even destruction. Things get torn down. They fall apart. They don’t make sense.
Yet, over all of it, for the heart that looks to Jesus, He proclaims mercy. What we do not deserve and could never earn, He freely gives. Healing. Change. Life, better than we can imagine, especially in the midst of hopeless times. And all at His appointed time. Every minute of endurance looks forward to the horizon that reminds us of His promise to not forget about us.
As sure as today’s sun has risen – whether we see it through the clouds or not, God’s faithfulness is stretched out over the landscape of our lives, illuminating our darkness with hope that cannot be broken. Because what He has spoken, He will do. He values His Word above His Name. And He is not a man that He should lie.
So if there be a question in our hearts, let it not be if, but when.
Keep that in your mind and heart today, as you endure whatever it is that you must. Believe with me that you will see His faithfulness soon enough. It is there. Of this you and I can always be sure. And that is a song worth singing!
How great is Your faithfulness, Oh Lord, this day! For You have caused the sun to rise again. You have caused the darkness of night to depart, if only in the clouds above me, and I will try again to look up, and believe all that You have spoken. I will rest in the establishment of Your Word, because You are faithful to keep it throughout all our generations. In this will my heart rejoice, that You will accomplish all You have promised, indeed! And in this will You be magnified, in this will I be comforted.