A Future with Hope

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Israël thought its wholeness was tied to a particular land. To be exiled from that land was to be cut off from any sort of meaningful life. Yet they were told in Jeremiah 29 that a meaningful life was not just possible in exile, but that it was God's will for them.

Christian wholeness has never been geographically based. We believe that the fullness of God brings wholeness to God's people regardless of time or place. The cross of Christ is the perfect symbol of this unlimited scope, reaching both up and down between heaven and earth, and outward from the very beginning until time is no more.

When things are good, it's easy to believe that Christ gives me hope for the future. But it is precisely in the difficult times—when my cross seems heaviest—that hope shines brightest. In darkness, in pain, in exile, God is creating change and I am being transformed into a new creation.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
 Colossians 1:19-20
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
As Israël found new hope in exile, Lord, help me to see in the suffering of Christ your ability to bring life out of death and peace out of conflict.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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