God of hope

Hope, that inner yearning for something or someone outside of ourselves to reach into our lives with a beneficial effect. For Christians, we hope in God. Faith enables us to confess our inability to control the things which God says only He can control and change. And it is hope which motivates believers to lean into God, trusting Him to fulfill His promises in our lives both now and for eternity. Christian hope is not foolish or wishful thinking in airy fairy aspirations for the impossible. It’s not blind dreams rising from our sense of desperation. No, biblical hope is in a person with proven holy character and a spotless record of meeting needs and fulfilling promises.

Jeremiah, who most likely wrote the book of Lamentations, not only new the ugly pains of life, but also the despair and pessimism those pains often cause. In Lamentations 3:22-24, Jeremiah shares some of the inner qualities which enable hope in God. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” When nothing goes according to human desire or plans, God remains the one constant with unchanging consistency. Notice that Yahweh, the LORD, is central to Jeremiah’s confession of belief.

Jeremiah was not digging deep into himself, he was not trusting other people to perfectly respond to his problems, and he was not relying upon luck, whatever that is? No, Jeremiah focused squarely upon the steadfast love of the LORD. Only God can express love without hypocrisy or hidden and suspicious intent. Only Yahweh, who is in essence holy and loving, has the capacity for selfless affection that reaches out and never diminishes in its consistency. Such perfect love motivates the LORD to deliver mercy to people who don’t deserve it. And His mercies never come to an end, they are inexhaustible, without human limitations, and without questionable motives. God’s mercy is pure, refreshing, and rejuvenating as He enables believers to rise above the crushing effects of living in a world dominated by darkness. Such an infinite reservoir of mercy awaits everyone of His children each morning as they awake to the realities of a new day, irrespective of circumstances.

One of the advantages that comes with age, is that of recounting the many ways God has proven Himself to be loving, to be merciful, and to be faithful. However, these supreme qualities are usually proven best through the dark and lonely events of life that take us past our limits. When all others fail us, when the world abandons or injures us, and when self proves grossly deficient, it is the LORD who is discovered to be invisibly and silently present. That is how Jeremiah could so confidently say, the LORD is my portion. When this life delivers despair and emptiness, the LORD is there to meet your needs, to speak to the inner recesses of a bruised heart, and to enable perseverance for His purposes.

The upshot of Jeremiahs confession is that he instructs his soul, he authoritatively directs self to hope in God. You see, God authored hope, which is biblical hope, is more interested in God than in achieving an outcome we consider best. This hope rises from the proven character of our Saviour and Lord, it looks past the here and now, and it leans towards the heavenly. Once this hope has it’s focus on Christ, who constantly intercedes for us, it is content to let God be God, as He administers sufficient mercy for the present day, ready to be refreshed in the next morning.

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