January 12, 2015

Something New: Hope

Jeremiah 31:31-34

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant . . .”

—  Jeremiah 31:31

The change of a calendar ­often brings with it a new sense of hope. This year, we think, things will be different. This year our situation will change. This year we will get that job we have longed for.

But when it comes to the human condition, we need more than the change of a calendar to give us hope. The Bible makes clear that the brokenness we experience in this world is not just a problem brought on by circumstances outside ourselves. Every one of us has a sin problem. We have hearts that take us away from God. We prefer to live our own way instead of following God's way for full, abundant living. We do not honor God's commands.

Sin has a way of sinking its teeth deep into our hearts. Childhood temper tantrums may morph into the ­sophisticated road rage of an adult, but the same sinful anger underlies both be­haviors. We need more than simple ­maturity. We need a new heart. We need a new hope.

Long ago God promised that his people would one day know him, deep down in their hearts. By God's power they would understand how he called them to live. By sending Jesus into the world, God fulfilled that promise.

Jesus shows us how to live, and his Spirit now guides our hearts. Do you have the new hope that comes from knowing Christ?

A new heart, a new hope—what a promise, Lord! Set within us hearts that know you and serve you, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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