There was an ancient prophet who can inspire real, eternal hope. His name was Jeremiah. He had eternal hope in spite of incredibly difficult circumstances; real hope that because of the Lord we don't have to be consumed by our own challenges, since the Lord NEVER fails in his compassion and mercy for us.
I can’t comprehend how difficult Jeremiah’s circumstances were. The Lord gave him the tough job of revealing to all of Jerusalem the sins of the people—their own sins—and the coming consequences (the destruction of their entire nation). They weren't listening.
Not only did Jeremiah prophesy the terrible destruction of Jerusalem if they didn’t repent, but he lived to see it—the destruction of the people and place he served and loved. You can imagine how this must have made him feel. The famous painter Rembrandt painted a painting of Jeremiah called, “Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem”. In Rembrandt’s painting Jeremiah looks sad and tired sitting at the base of a pillar with his head in his hand. You can see the destroyed city of Jerusalem behind him, the city and people he was unable to save.
Jeremiah’s life wasn’t easy. He tried so hard to help his people. He didn’t really want that job. He almost singlehandedly tried to stem the tide of immorality and idolatry among the people, but without success. He was persecuted by priests, mobs, his townspeople the king, and the army. His city was destroyed. His government, economy and nation were destroyed; even the military. There was death and destruction everywhere.
Some people would feel hopeless after all of that—having been given a job to do by the Lord, doing your best to accomplish it, yet still, seemingly, unable to do what the Lord asked. Yet, listen to what Jeremiah says after making a list of his profound suffering:
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
“They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
[Lamentations 3: 21-23 i.e.“the lamentations of Jeremiah”]
Seemingly every earthly hope had been destroyed, but Jeremiah found real, eternal hope because He remembered the Lord. He remembered the Lord’s mercy and compassion—“they are new every morning”.
Let's REMEMBER that we can have hope just like Jeremiah's when we recall the Lord's mercies and compassions. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING for us.