Dealing with times of despair
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Each new day that comes will always offer a possibility that there could be new challenges or problems that could lead to discouragement and frustration if not met properly. These challenges could also be the source of fears and worries and might lead to sin if decisions made are not guided by God and His word. It seemed that trials are endless. You thought you were just cruising along in a wonderfully paved road, enjoying the sights and feeling the breeze when suddenly out of nowhere there appeared before you a pack of deer occupying the road you will be going through. No chance of stopping instead you swerved and went to a ditch. Just like in life, something unexpected could happen, a problem you have never encountered before that brought upon you a downcast spirit. From the text, trials and difficulties were not new to prophet Jeremiah. God called him to lead the Israelites as they go back to Jerusalem to build its ruins after a devastating loss to the Babylonians. The Israelites were taken captive by the Babylonians and this was the result of their continual disobedience to God. But they were not willing to listen to God this is why the Book of Jeremiah was filled with prophecies of sorrows and tears. They have accepted that they were doomed to despair that no matter what God told them through Jeremiah, they were not willing to listen. This attitude of defeat and resignation of the Israelites brought upon Jeremiah a feeling of despair. Yet in his darkest days, God assured Him of His sovereign control of all the events that are happening and expressed to him from the text that because He is in-charge the future will be filled with hope and peace. Things in life might not be happening as you planned out but take heart, God is in His throne and He is in control. There might be uncertainty that awaits you tomorrow but be reminded just like Jeremiah he looked forward that because of God’s love he can anticipate each day bringing new mercies from God. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). If you are a child of God because you have placed your trust in Him alone and you are in your darkest night of your life, do not lose hope for He promised that He is there with you and His plans will never be thwarted. “...anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced” (Romans 9:33).