Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam.3:26)
God is angry. He pours out His fury like fire, destroying all that is around, swallowing up Israel, her palaces, and her strongholds. Spurned are the kings and priests. Forgotten are the sanctuary and its people, the feasts and Sabbaths. The enemy has taken over. Sorrow and violence are everywhere; God has removed His hand from Israel. For 200 years, the prophets had warned the Israelites to return to the Lord, but their warnings remained unheeded. Jeremiah’s voice cries out, foretelling the fall of Jerusalem. He is likely writing from behind prison walls, pleading with the people to return to the Lord. Though forsaken by all, God’s prophet waits quietly for the Lord. He trusts God will not remove His compassions and mercies forever. He reminds God that in times past he cried out to Him in his despair and God replied, “fear not” (Jer. 3:55-57).
Hope requires patient, quiet waiting. When we hope, we have a confident expectation of joy. We fix our eyes on eternal salvation. God is the author and foundation of all hope (Ro. 15:13). Hope is one of the 3 key elements of our identity in Christ: the others being faith and love. Without faith, we cannot have hope; without hope, we cannot know love. Just as hope is central to the trinity of Christian character—faith, hope, love—so is it central to our Christian walk, for hope is the essence of Christianity. When we place our faith in Jesus, we become an heir to the throne of God. He furnishes us with hope. He is the object of our hope. Love is the outward manifestation of this inward transformation in our lives. “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; God is love” (I Jn. 4:8).
The hurricane of destruction rages all around Jeremiah. In the eye of the storm, he finds peace and rest. He waits quietly for the Lord; he remembers what God has done in times past. Are you in a stormy season? Won’t you set your will to fix your eyes on Jesus and wait quietly for His salvation? If you say, “Thy will be done,” you get consolation in knowing that your Father is working according to His own wisdom. His desire—a relationship with you today and throughout eternity. God will not leave you alone until you place your hope in Christ alone. Today, you can rest patiently knowing that God is providing for you “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.”