“I remember my suffering and my wandering, the bitterness and the death. I remember it all and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
God’s teachings in Scripture do not instruct us to ignore the painful and dark realities that we face with some kind of blind optimism. Rather, we are given space to feel, to remember, to ache, to mourn. The hope we have is not in denying that bad things (sometimes unimaginably bad things) happen, but in the truth that in the midst of those trials and in spite of them, God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness continue to pursue us. For us to recognize the depths of difficulty, loss, and tragedy in our world, is to recognize the fuller measure of our need for God’s power and grace to give us the strength to endure.
Take 5-10 minutes to pray. Name the difficulties and losses (whether individual, community, or global) that have come in the past year. Lift them up to God and allow yourself to sit in his presence with them. Ask him to meet you with his love, comfort, and hope.