“There is hope for your future,” declares the LORD, “And your children will return to their own territory.
Hope is a popular topic at the beginning of a new year. It is especially meaningful when life has been so challenging. We finish a year that has been difficult and we have hope that the next year will be a little less challenging.
So we turn to a verse like Jeremiah 31:17. We proclaim that there is hope for the future because of our God. And this is true. What is a little more challenging to process is what does hope look like?
The Israelites had lost their land. They had lost their inheritance. They had suffered. What did hope look like for them? In this verse it says simply, "your children will return to their own territory." In fact the word future can also be translated as descendants. The hope of the Israelite was that God would fulfill all his promises even if they never saw it in their own lifetime. They were a part of the fulfillment of those promises.
How can this give us hope for 2022? Well, we have no idea what is going to happen. We have no idea if life is going to get a little easier or a little more "normal." What we do know is that every trial, every challenge, every sickness has a purpose in the plan of God because He will bring our children back to the land.
This year there will be wonderful times. This year there will be hard times. This year will be one full of purpose, promise, and hope because God is the master planner who will sustain us, encourage us, give us the strength, provide the purpose for every experience of life.