This year seems to pose more challenges than any year in recent memory. Sure, every year carries tragedies, horrors, and unwelcome interruptions to the status quo, but 2020 seems to have hit the bad news quota for the year by April. And it’s still going strong.
What do we do when the world seems to be falling apart, when life as we know it changes abruptly and leaves us reeling? Where do we look for hope in the face of so much hopelessness?
We look to Jesus.
In John 11, Jesus’s friend Lazarus died. Jesus, upon meeting the family, saw the tears, heard the questions, and, as John records, “he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” (John 11:33). He wept with those who wept (John 11:35). Jesus, the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), knows our grief. He walked the same broken world we walk. We can take comfort that our Savior is not distant in our weeping.
Jesus does more than meet us in our brokenness, however. In John 16, as he prepared his disciples for what was soon to come, he spoke a great promise:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
The world is a difficult place to live. Creation itself groans for redemption (Romans 8:18-25). We feel the weight of the fall daily, both internally and externally. Sin, death, corruption – all seem to war against the good. The darkness is oppressive. But Jesus gives peace, for he has overcome the world. “The light shines in the darkness,” John writes, “and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
And lest we feel that things are too far gone, that hope has left us, remember the firm foundation on which we stand. As it is written, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He does not change with each new circumstance we face. “The sufferings of this present time,” though they may feel greater than ever before, even still “are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). Even still, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Even still, the Lord reigns.
So hope again. Trust again. And look to Jesus. The shepherd is still good.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash