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Lent Devo Day 17

Friday, March 5, 2021

“Despair or hope? Choose hope.”

By Pastor Rob Harding

Passage: 2 Chronicles 36:14-21

As you finish reading today’s passage, ask yourself: does it fill you with despair or hope?

In the first 6 verses of this passage there is much to despair in: the unfaithfulness of the people, their “detestable practices,” the “defiling” of the temple of the Lord, God’s messengers being mocked, God’s words despised and scoffed at, God’s temple set ablaze, everything of value being destroyed, the young and the old and the infirm being killed.

One might read such things and think: how can any hope possibly be found here? And yet as we read one, we find that glimmer: a “remnant” of God’s people remains, the land “enjoyed its sabbath,” and the word of the Lord is ultimately fulfilled. One might read those works and think hope is at least possible.

Long ago, during these very days, we saw Jesus’ followers, especially those closest to him, feel great despair in light of the cross, and yet what we know now is that great hope existed within that pain and loss, that hope being revealed completely through the resurrection.

Consider your own life for a moment, pain, and struggle and all that is. When your experience on this earth brings its worst, so to speak, what is your most turned to response: despair or hope? To despair in loss and sickness and broken relationships and various hardships – who could blame you if that is your chosen response? And yet, if we are willing to look close enough, the hope is always there, hope that is grounded in: he died for you, he rose for you, nothing can separate us…

In the midst of whatever you are facing these days, choose hope.

Prayer: Loving God, while despair lures us in when times are tough, lead us to be people of hope no matter what. Lead us to focus always on the light you bring into darkness. Amen


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