Hold on to Hope!

Happy New Year!

As we begin a new year, I want to take a look at a wonderful passage of Scripture.

There were two major, polar events that took place in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible): Exodus from Egypt (1200 BC) and Exile into Babylon (587 BC). Today, we’re going to look at a passage of Scripture written during the Exile into Babylon from Lamentations. (Incidentally, we’ll be focusing on events following the Exodus during the next few weeks.)

Lamentations is a collection of five poems written by Jeremiah, the "weeping prophet."You may recall our discussion of "psalms of lament" from last summer’s series on the Psalms. Basically, Psalms of Lament are poetic complaints laid honestly before God.

But right in the middle of Lamentations is this incredible word of hope. Let’s look at it today. It’s found in Lamentations 3.21-33.

Remember what God has done throughout history. Of course, the best way to do this is simply by reading and immersing ourselves in Scripture. By seeing how God has been faithful to his people for thousands of years, we will develop the faith to believe that God will also be faithful to us.

Remember what God has done for others. This is one of the reasons we sometimes share testimonies about what God is doing in your lives. When I hear what God is doing in your life, it strengthens my faith because I know that if God can do something in your life, he can do it in my life, too.

And remember what God has done for you! Think back over the course of your life and recount the times God has come through for you. This is especially important when your going through difficult times!

So, take a moment right now to remember …

  • How has God been faithful to you?
  • How has God been faithful to someone you know?

Are you seeking God with all your heart about something in your personal life? And what about the big decision facing our church? Are you seeking God with your whole heart?

I love Jesus’ words: "Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks." (Matthew 7.7-8)

There aren’t too many character qualities that are more important than humility! Take a moment to read these great words about humility in the Psalms.

>> TRUST GOD! (3.31-33)
How much do you trust God? At what level are you trusting God right now? If God, your Father, asks you to jump (blindly) into his arms, how easily would it be for you to jump?

The more we remember what God has done for us in the past, and the more we encounter God in the present, the greater our level of trust in God will be!

As we begin a new year, I can only imagine and dream about what God has in store for us this year, if only we will remember God’s faithfulness, humble ourselves before him and seek him with our whole hearts, and place our complete trust in him.

I’d like for you to think and pray about these questions …

  • What is God calling you to be in 2006?
  • What is God calling you to do in 2006?
  • What is God calling us as a faith community to be/do in 2006?

My prayer for you at the outset of 2006 is Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3.14-21.

Glory be to God! By God’s mighty power at work within you, may God accomplish infinitely more than you would ever dare to imagine, dream, ask or hope! May God be given glory in your life, in our church, and in Christ Jesus forever and ever! Amen.

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