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Chaplain: The meeting of two years

By Allen Teal, Chaplain

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

On social media, the year 2020 received unrelenting negative reviews. COVID-19, wildfires burning across the western United States, racial tensions, difficult-to-endure national campaigns and a bountiful hurricane season have conspired to bring at least some negative effect to nearly every citizen. All these things have made hope a precious commodity for many. With last year behind us, the time has come to renew our hope.

God has not forgotten us.

Jeremiah prophesied years of captivity to the people of Israel. His messages often contained warnings about God’s displeasure and coming punishments. With this as a backdrop, Jeremiah 29:11 must have been a ray of light. These words gave people a promise of a better future. These same words remind us that God’s plan always includes a better tomorrow.

God has plans for us.

This past year may have felt out of control. While it might not always seem obvious, God has a plan that includes you. Personal setbacks only represent temporary losses. Years ago travelling back from the east coast, we elected to take a shortcut that we saw on the map. The shortcut costs us hours of travel time because of the curvy, twisty roads we had to take. In the end, we arrived safely at our destination. Life sometimes takes us down difficult pathways. Keep moving forward. God’s plan will bring you to a better place.

God places hope into our future.

Most of us can overcome a great deal if we know the problem will pass. We call the belief that our difficulties will pass hope. God does not leave us hopeless. Even in 2020, a hope for a better 2021 became a constant. The Bible says, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).

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