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The Lord's Comfort

January 09, 2021

Jeremiah 31:13-14: "Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priest with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord."

God would lead his people from exile to restoration, from mourning to joy, and from sorrow to gladness. Couldn't we all use his restoration today? Having been exposed to Covid on Sunday morning, my family is now in quarantine, and it feels much like exile. I am so angry at what Covid has stolen from us - intimacy in relationships, the opportunity to worship together without fear, the ability to express love with hugs and handshakes, the peace that existed before we entered this world of Covid, and most importantly human lives. One of my best friends from college lost her father to Covid. This weekend would have been his birthday and instead of celebrating an amazing husband, father, and grandfather, this family is grieving for all that is now lost.

Needless to say, we need the Lord's restoration, and we need it today! How we would love to rejoice, to dance, to experience the Lord's comfort, joy, and gladness. And just imagine the abundance of the Lord spoken of here through Jeremiah - abundance of the soul. That abundance that was available to the Israelites then is available to us now.

Even in our challenging times, the Lord can make all these exchanges. We can still rejoice with dancing; we can still be merry, to have our mourning turned to joy, and our sorrow turned to gladness. We can experience the Lord's comfort, his presence, and his peace. The Lord is ever-present. He is with us in our most glorious, faithful days, and he is present in our most challenging, faithless days.

The Lord would have us awaken from our sleep and to put our eyes and hope back on him. During the good times, it is easy to forget the faithfulness of our God. May we allow the challenges of 2020 to awaken us to seek out the Lord and his comfort. Then, may we be strengthened though that comfort and equipped to walk faithfully through the year ahead of us. And may the Lord have mercy on us in 2021; may he find us faithful; and may he be glorified through the good times and the bad.

How does the Lord want to use the challenges of 2020 to awaken you, and how will you respond?

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