Jeremiah 29:11(NKJV) 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.¹
Father as I read the news daily, I am shocked and horrified at the depravity of mankind. Yet as I think of the depravity of mankind, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit of the love and grace that you show. Your word reminds us that we are on your mind, even in difficult times. Father, we are reminded that you think peace toward us. We know, peace, is not the absence of conflict or strife. Rather Peace is tranquility of soul, spirit or heart that is going through or experiencing turmoil.
Peace comes through the empowering presence of Christ. Father as we lay our hurts and memories of painful episodes at your feet that is how we can hold on to life daily. We do not persevere by holding on to hurt. We persevere as we hold on to you. Father as we try to sort through the events that often take us by surprise, remind us that as we hold on to you that it is then that we find our future and our hope. Holding on to You and letting go of the hurt and the pain is the only way.
Surround us with people who can help us let go. Give us people who will push us to hold on when the world and even our own self tell us, “just give up, it isn’t worth it.” Even worse is when Satan whispers, “No one cares and no one else knows what you are going through so keep it to yourself…” When the evil one comes alongside and whispers remind us of the “great cloud of witnesses” that are cheering us on to the finish line. When the people to help are hard to find, help us to be that person for another.
¹The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Jeremiah 29:11.
James R. Jenkins is the Pastor of First Baptist Church in Rising Sun, In.
He and Tricia are married and have three children.