"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jer 29:11-13
Jeremiah was led by God to write a letter of encouragement to those who found themselves ripped from their homeland and taken into captivity by a foreign king. It was not enough that the people were in shock and mourning for their homes, their nation and their relationship with God, but there were false prophets who were adding to the doom and gloom. It is true that the people were being punished for their rebellion but even under these difficult circumstances, the love of God shines through.
Beloved, there are many times that we feel as though we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Be it health related, relational, financial, sufferings from natural disasters or even suffering the consequences from our own errors or sins, but God never forsakes us. We do not always know why we must endure certain uncomfortable situations (and sometimes we know exactly why) but faith requires that we know that God is ever with us even when it may seem that He is not. I remember being terrified of going to the doctor because I did not want to get a shot. But I remember my parents being with me and promising ice cream when we were done. I also remember getting into trouble and being punished, but again, my folks were always there loving me and protecting me from real harm and when it was over it was over.
None of us were ever promised a challenge free life. What we are promised, however, is that our loving Father is ever with us and that though weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning. Let us remain faithful to Him who is faithful to us.