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The Hope of Renewal
REFOCUS, RENEWAL, AND CELEBRATION
Terry R. Baughman
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’” (Lamentations 3:22–24).
Before God we would never stand a chance in our own attempts to justify our actions. Our guilt would condemn us and our sin would become glaringly obvious. Righteous judgment would surely require us all to be exterminated before the face of a holy God. Paul wrote with conviction, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). When faced with our failures we are utterly hopeless.
“But God so loved the world …” (John 3:16). Hopeless despair is replaced with Divine intervention. Condemnation is exchanged with unmerited favor. Grace was given where judgment was required.
Hundreds of years before Christ came, the Prophet Jeremiah was inspired by God’s amazing mercies. In the face of national judgment there was the assurance of incredible mercies. The prophet recognized that it was only by His mercy that they were not all consumed in judgment. He found His faithfulness to be unfailing, mercy to be unending, and the compassion of our God was renewed every morning. In the face of such undeserved and undeniable grace Jeremiah exclaimed, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:24).
If Jeremiah found our God to be so merciful against the backdrop of national judgment and captivity by the Babylonians, should we not also find great hope in God? We have the benefit of the incredible story of Jesus coming to earth, loving and teaching the people and empowering His followers. We have the wonderful illustration of the cross and the incredible sacrifice of the Savior. If Jeremiah could find hope in the midst of crisis and confidence in the faithfulness of God, how much more should we acknowledge His mercies and rejoice in His favor.
Often our problems are magnified by proximity. Everything in our field of vision is greater than any other problem at any other time in history. In reality our problems are small and our blessings are abundant. His grace is sufficient and His mercies are everlasting. When we refocus our vision and correct our depth of field we find that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think. (See Ephesians 3:20.) We have no need that is beyond His ability and no sin that His provision cannot cover.
Though we fail continually and our sin seems to be overwhelming, our hope is in Christ the Lord. His mercies are renewed everyday. Our promise and our hope is the opportunity to experience His grace again and again.
The mercy that we have received so abundantly we must extend to others. We cannot forget our failings as we gauge the faults of others. Paul spoke to believers, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12–13). Inasmuch as mercy has been multiplied toward us, let us also show mercy. In the same manner as we have been forgiven, we must also forgive.
Renewal is offered freely and continually. That is our hope and also our privilege to share the same hope with others.
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).