A Resilient Hope

Lamentations is a book in the Bible authored by Jeremiah – also known as ‘the weeping prophet,’ is written in response to the captivity of his nation and people by the Babylonians. In the 52 chapters of the book, we are told time, and again this would happen to the people of Judah.

“Now, therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.'”  And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will everyone obey the dictates of his evil heart.” – Jeremiah 18:11-12

Now it happened when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You will surely die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, “This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant’?” And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord. When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house. – Jeremiah 26:8-9

If we relate Jeremiah’s story to what is happening right now. Our nation has been carried away and captivated by paganism, materialism and is moving toward the new world order under the reign of the antichrist. The Lord has given us, and the world, His word to warn us of impending judgment and called us to turn from our evil ways.

The people of our country have said – “that is hopeless,” we want to define what is right and wrong for ourselves. We want to do what is right our own eyes, and in our nation, many have gathered against the House of the Lord, God’s church, and people. And our country is a mess because it has turned its back on the house of the Lord and His word.

We live in a time where hope seems to be in short supply and watching the days grow darker and darker can make us wonder if there is any possibility of our nation moving in a favorable direction again.

We have tantrums being thrown in the streets of major cities in our nation by a generation who have been force fed lies by many college professors and have grown up believing they should never get their feelings hurt and always demand their way.

I think we are all in need of a spiritual high point in light of our nation’s condition and the characteristic of hope. As believers, we have “A Resilient Hope”. But what is resilient hope?

Resilient means able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. Able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, and so on. In other words, we might say “the ability to bounce back.”

Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness— Israel when I went to give him rest.” The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness, I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria; The planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food. For there shall be a day When the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, To the Lord our God.’ ” – Jeremiah 31:2-6

So if your hope has been waning lately, it’s time to bounce back for and have a resilient hope! It’s time to recover quickly from difficult situations, become strong after something bad, return to our original shape after being pulled, stretched and pressed.

I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. He has led me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. Surely He has turned His hand against me time and time again throughout the day. He has aged my flesh and my skin and broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe. He has set me in dark places like the dead of long ago. He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy. ~ Lamentations 3:1-7

Jeremiah revealed that he was experiencing the consequences for other peoples disobedience. His nation had sinned, and the Babylonians were used as the rod of God’s wrath.

His health was failing, he was surrounded with bitterness and woes, he was in a dark place in his life, like his nation, and there was no way out of it.

And then he said this in Lamentations 3:21-23a, “This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” To recall means to turn back which implies that his mind had turned away from the truth. He was not thinking about God’s mercy, he was thinking about his pain at that moment. When he turned his mind back to the truth, his hope bounced back as he was reminded of the Lord’s mercy.

Without question, the only reason that we have not been judged entirely by the vengeance of God is that (because) of the Church. And while we, like Jeremiah, are feeling the pressures of wordiness around us and experiencing the removal of blessings – which is also the undiluted wrath of God requires the removal of the church.

We are not of the darkness, but it is all around us. They are saying “peace and safety,” yet destruction is coming instead. But we do not have an appointment with wrath, but instead, we have obtained salvation, deliverance from wrath, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our hope can never be lost, only abandoned. No matter how dark the season of life or history we may encounter, when we turn our minds back to the Lord’s mercy and not allowing us to be consumed, our hope will bounce back.

The world is a mess. The church is a mess. But God is not, and He never changes. We need to turn back our minds to His mercy and His compassion.

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. ~ Colossians 1:21-23

This season of life in America is not going to consume us, but if it does we need to turn back our minds to the mercies and unfailing compassion of God, and we will be able to continue in the faith grounded and steadfast and not moved away from the Gospel.

Our hope cannot be destroyed because our hope is in God. If we are feeling hopeless, turn back to the one who never changes, and your hope will bounce back for we have “A Resilient Hope!” As children of God, let us turn our minds back to Him. Our God is merciful and has unfailing compassion, let us inherit this and remain faithful in His words.

In heaven, there will be no persecutions, no elections, no riots, no false accusations, no betrayals, no broken families or friendships, no discord among the brethren.

God is faithful and therefore let us remain hopeful in His unfailing compassion and mercy.

BARRY STAGNER

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