“I’ll set shepherd-leaders over them who will take good care of them. They won’t live in fear or panic anymore.” Jeremiah 23:4 (The Message Bible)
The scripture for today is once again in Jeremiah, as he ministers to the people of Judah who had lost all hope for any kind of a future. Jeremiah, the optimistic prophet, offered them a ray of hope by quoting God’s decree: “Time’s coming…when I’ll establish a truly righteous David-Branch.” (vs 5) We know that “Hope” today as Jesus.
I consider myself an optimistic person, also. I love to challenge someone down in the dumps spiritually to find hope–to grow in his or her faith in God. In the book I’m currently writing, “My View from the Church Office,” I write first-person stories as told by church office workers. The opening story tells about Terri and how she felt as if she carried the weight of the rest of the staff on her shoulders, without getting affirmation for her efforts.
I had a hard time finding words that would give Terri hope, so I just said, “Perhaps you need to have a talk with the Master and then with the Pastor.” Recently, I learned she left her position. Perhaps she found hope working somewhere where she was appreciated.
We only need to look into the heart of Jesus to find hope. However, I must admit, some days even an optimist has less than 20/20 vision.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of hope through your son, Jesus, our Savior. Amen.