How can I deal with feelings of hopelessness?

“The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:10-11 NLT

A future and a hope

Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite verse of many, but it comes in a context that may add even greater meaning.

It appears in the middle of the prophet’s announcement. The people of Israel were going to spend a long exile away from their homeland—70 years—as God’s discipline. After that, God would return them to the land. In other words, God had a plan for their future.

Our sinfulness often leads to dismal situations and feelings of despair. But we must always remember that hopelessness does not come from God. God is the author of hope. Even the Exile, with its seeming hopelessness, was part of God’s long-range plan for his people. And his plans were good.

If you are facing hopelessness, you may be inheriting the results of some other person’s sinful decisions and actions. Or you may be reaping your own bad rewards. You may not have really discovered the hope that is found in God’s love for you through Jesus Christ. Reject despair and seek out God’s plan—and his hopes—for you.

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