I have been in full-time ministry now for almost 44 years, a good while perhaps to some and just a short time to others. But I can honestly say that I’ve never seen times quite as difficult as they are right now. Uncertainty seems to be the watchword for these days we are living in. Devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, civil disturbances, terrorism, health crises, threats of war, and so many more problems seem to be an almost daily occurrence. It looks like the times we are living in are quickly drawing to a close, but only the Lord knows.
These difficult days, however, can also be our shining moments as Christians. We are to be lights in this dark world, radiating the glorious light of Jesus Christ as we hold forth the Word of Life (see Philippians 2:15-16). In the midst of moral corruption, the breakdown of the family and traditional marriage, and more global, social, and economic problems than we have the time to mention, there are some things we need to remember.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lamentations 3:21-25).
Jeremiah wrote, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” What was it that gave the writer hope?
First, we are not consumed because of the grace and mercy of God. He offered His grace and mercy through Jesus’ death on the cross. He reached down and loved us when we were unlovely. As a result, because of His mercy we have come to know Jesus Christ by grace through faith alone, not by any merit of our own. The Bible says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Every morning God grants to us new mercies. Praise the Lord! His faithfulness is so great! David wrote, “And thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalm 36:5b).
Second, I may never have all the things this world has to offer, but as verse 24 reminds me, “The LORD is my portion….” The world has “things,” but I have the Lord! Things may come and go, but as God’s adopted child, He is mine and I am His forever! Hallelujah!
We may struggle to get through these trying times, but God expects us to keep trusting Him, loving Him, and serving Him. The Lord is good all the time, and all the time the Lord is good! When we realized our hopeless condition apart from Christ and repented of our sin, trusting in Christ alone to save us, God forgave us and made us His children. Now we are to be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). That, my dear friends, gives me hope! How about you?
“My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.
For me He died, For me He lives;
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.”
(First stanza of My Hope Is in the Lord, by Norman J. Clayton, Copyright 1945)