Jeremiah was given an impossible task that he knew from the beginning would fail. He lived during the reigns of the last five kings of Judah. His only goal was to save God’s people from His judgment upon them as a nation. But as one commentary puts it, “Judah was spiritually too far gone, and Jeremiah would not succeed in leading the nation to revival.” This commentator then continues to describe the hopelessness of Jeremiah’s situation, “Like the dying embers of an 01 finding hopeuntended fire, he watched for approximately forty years as Judah received warning after warning but refused to repent of their wickedness. He saw the partial destruction of Jerusalem in 606 BC, and then the second wave of foreign invasion and deportation in 596 BC. He witnessed the flame flicker out in 586 BC when Jerusalem was burned and desolated. The glorious temple of Solomon lay in ruins, and the remnant of God’s people were taken away to captivity. Judah was no more.”

Yet Jeremiah is the prophet that preaches about hope and a bright future. He argues for God’s love of His people and for an ultimate destiny that transcends the momentary sorrows of this life. He will speak about a New Covenant that will be written on the hearts of people, not on stone tablets. He speaks of a time of great renewal and revival during which there will be no more tears and sorrows. There are many sorrows, disappointments and frustrations in this world but God has greater plans. Jeremiah 29:11 speaks to us about God’s purpose for our lives. It says, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” How Jeremiah could find hope in anything is beyond me.

When we answer God’s general call to faith we then join the corporate body called the church. We have a mission to participate in. According to the book of Revelation I believe we can see that the ultimate redemption of the world will not come about because of our efforts, but will be brought about only by the Lord Himself when He returns. But until that day, like Jeremiah we have a calling. This includes every believer. F. B. Meyer put it this way, “From the foot of the cross, where we are cradled in our second birth, to the brink of the river, where we lay down our armor (die), there is a path which he has prepared for us to walk in.” We will not save the world. We will not save our society. But we can participate in the mission Jesus has given to us as His church to share and to show God’s love to others. We can pass on the “Hope” that Jeremiah speaks of to another generation of souls who so desperately need to see beyond the grave.