Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.’ (Jeremiah 23:7-8)
Where can we look for our blessings? We can look to the past and see how we have been blessed, or we can look to our current reality to see how we are being blessed, or we can look into the future and anticipate how we hope to be blessed. Blessings past. Blessings current. Blessings in the future.
When is it that we feel blessed? When we have been loved, especially by those who best know us. When we have been forgiven, especially by those we love the most. When we have been supported, especially when we felt weak. When we have been found, especially we felt lost. When we have been saved from turmoil, encouraged when in despair, healed when sick, freed when stuck, lifted up when we had fallen down.
When we can’t count our blessings in the past, see our blessings in daily life, or stop seeing any hope of blessings in the future, our life begins to shrink, our dreams die, and our hopes evaporate.
Today’s lesson from Jeremiah is all about blessings. The Israelites are in exile in Babylon and they feel like their blessings are over. They keep looking back on how God had once delivered them in the Exodus, but they don’t see how God could deliver them from their current situation.
But that’s the hope that Jeremiah proclaims: Don’t look back at how the Lord once brought you out of the land of Egypt. Instead, look to the Lord who will bring you out of the North, out of Babylon. Just as God had once delivered you, so He will do so again.
It can seem like we are in exile right now. In exile from work, from friends and family, from our usual routines, from being able to get groceries without worry, from traveling, from…it is a long list.
If we are having a difficult time seeing our blessings right now, I believe Jeremiah has something to say to us. What’s the hope he proclaims? Just as God was not done blessing the Israelites long ago in Babylon, so our God is not done blessing us—blessing us not only each day, but will continue to bless us in the future. God is God and God will prevail. God is a God of healing, and healing will come. God is a God of peace, and that peace can be ours. God delivered then, God can deliver now, and God will deliver in the future.
Because our God is for us and not against us, because we are God’s children and not orphans in this universe, because God can and will continue to work through us to do mighty, great, and even miraculous things, because God will never stop blessing us, we can live with hope, breath with peace, and rest in trust.
- How have you been blessed by God?
- As difficult as it might be to see, how are you blessed right now?
- What future blessing do you hope to receive from God?