The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

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I remember an elderly gentleman that was very ill and near death, yet he was filled with joy and hope. How could that be? This man was filled with hope because he knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He may have been near death, but he was also near to being with the Lord in all eternity. He may have lost his health, but in heaven the Lord restores all things including our health. Earthly bodies and all that go wrong with them are not part of heaven. Hope enables us to endure hardships and long waiting periods, and God uses these times to develop character and endurance in us.

Jeremiah, the prophet, wrote a letter to those in exile to give them hope. Jeremiah 29:10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.[1]

This verse is often quoted but I don’t think most people know the context from which it comes. The exiles would be in Babylon for seventy years and only then would they be allowed to return to Jerusalem. Seventy years is over a generation. The adults who received this letter would not be able to return, it would be the next generation. There would be a serious time of waiting before the return. God knew they would need hope during the wait and told them this all was part of the plan. Thus, they were to settle down and pray for their cities. God was still with them and He would use this time to train His people. He would keep His promises but, in His time and His way. He still cared about the people’s future and wanted to give them hope in a difficult time.

How could this letter of hope inspire us today?

No matter the circumstance it is only temporary in reference to eternity. Revelation 21:4 – He (Jesus) will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” [2]

The Lord keeps his promises. John 3:16 –“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”[3]

The Lord has plans for us. As we see in the above verse the Lord has good plans for us along with a hope and a future. 

Hope energizes and motivates us to act by causing us to step out in faith and act in obedience with God’s Word. When we embrace hope intentionally, it influences our thoughts, our attitudes, our outlook and the way we speak. Hope builds us up as we wait on God. The exiles knew they would be in Babylon just 70 years. It would be a time of God molding them for the next season. For some it would be the rest of their lives, but there was hope for their children and grandchildren to return to Israel.

How is Jesus extending you hope in your circumstances right now? Jeremiah 17:7But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. [4] To hear more about hope for refugees, listen here:

[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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