What a year this has been. Are you one who plans to stay up all night December 31 to make sure 2020 ends? A year filled with so much loss, chaos and disrupted normality, has tried to rob us of believing life will get better. Can we even dare to hope that it will?
Why Even Dare to Hope?
Long ago, a man experienced loss after loss and lived to write about it. Jeremiah, the author of the book of Lamentations, tells us how bad life was.
I am the one who has seen afflictions…God has led me into darkness, shutting out all light…He has made my skin and flesh grow old….He has walled me in and I cannot escape..And though I cry and shout, He has shut out my prayers…I have been given a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
Can you identify? The lament continues:
Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
While it has certainly been a year to remember, it is also one many of us want to forget!
Maybe Friedrich Nietzsche was right:
That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
As we look ahead to a new year, how can we look with hopeful expectancy that it will be better?
Dare to Hope
Jeremiah expresses how we live from one day to the next when going through midnights of the soul:
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this…
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Maybe you’re entering the new year wondering how you’ve made it through this unprecedented time in your life . Jeremiah reminds us we had nothing to do with it.
It is all because of God’s faithfulness.
Our human nature wants to have a stress-free, worry-free life. If the year has been full of stress, worry, and grief, it is totally understandable to want to move on to a new year.
But as you reflect back over this past year, are you able to see how you’ve grown as a result of the lessons learned from the pain of adversity?
…Life would not be life without contrast. Without difficulty, we wouldn’t know what “easy” looks like. Without light, we wouldn’t understand darkness. To appreciate something big, you have to experience small. And good is easy to spot in contrast to evil. So after learning a life lesson through adversity, it is refreshing to forget the darkness of the past, and joyfully embrace the light of the future! ~ Michael S. Tyrrell
In the midst of adversity, we can still dare to hope because of this triune truth:
God is faithful
His love is unfailing and unending
His never-ceasing mercies are new every morning
Still dare to hope.
Hope rises, hope endures. Hope is a gift to push us through the present pain and on to our future redemption. We are never without hope, because we are never without Him. ~ Sarah Rodriguez
God’s faithfulness carried us through the storms and some dark days of 2020, and here we stand (maybe unsteadily) ready to face what He has in store for us this new year.
When life appears to give us more than we can bear, let’s still dare to hope. A faithful God will carry us through the darkest of days with unfailing love and daily fresh mercies.
Lord, thank you for using our past to assure us our hope remains secure in Your everlasting faithfulness. I still dare to hope when I remember Your faithfulness, unfailing love and tender mercies.
Still dare to hope in 2021!
As you reflect back over last year, can you pinpoint examples of God’s faithfulness to you and those you love?
To echo Jeremiah’s words, I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this… What do you remember that gives you hope?