Today’s post is written by Mike Sohm, President of CAMA.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
We all need hope, but the truth is we need real hope, not the false stuff. False hope is easy to come by. We can produce it ourselves or find it in the media. In all honesty, it’s a form of deception. Real hope, on the other hand, is hard to find. It’s based on truth.
When we come to Jeremiah 29:11 the exiles living in Babylon are desperate to return home. False prophets are telling the people their captivity will be short, and they will soon return to Judah. It’s exactly what they want to hear. Yet Jeremiah writes to say yes you will return home, but God says it’s going to be awhile; so make the most of your days in exile. That was real hope.
So how do we know the difference today?
- Offers a quick fix with no consequences for our actions
- Gives a short-term viewpoint
- Provides unsustainable solutions
- Relieves immediate suffering or pain
- Requires nothing from us
- Focuses only on self
- Offers responsible solutions with consequences
- Gives a long-term perspective
- Provides sustainable solutions
- May not relieve immediate suffering
- Requires us to act in faith
- Considers the wellbeing of others
- Includes truth and grace
In celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are reminded we were once “without God and without hope in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But God’s Son became the perfect offering for our sin, dying on a crude, wooden cross in our place. He paid for our sin—all of our sins! It never needs to be repeated.
When we place our faith in Christ and accept His act on the cross as payment for our sins, we are forgiven and reconciled to God. Remember, we still live in a fallen world and suffer the consequences of sin. Yet despite this, the good news is Christ died for all people, not a select few. The offer of forgiveness, reconciliation, and a hope that conquers death is available for all.
In the darkest days of our lives, we have hope knowing that Jesus endured. He did not give up, and He will help us to do the same. Look to Jesus Christ who died on the cross, was buried, burst from the tomb three days later, and now sits at God’s right hand.