“Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting”; Jeremiah 33:11 (NASB)
Our God is an everlasting and eternal God. There have been times in the Old Testament days when God needed to remind His people of this. In the time of Jeremiah the prophet, the situation was very dark. God was allowing His people to suffer the consequences of their disobedience as He had warned them would happen. But, He wanted His people to know that He still loved them. That’s why God told His people through the prophet that a new day would come when people in Jerusalem would sing to the Lord. In chapter 33 of Jeremiah in verse 11 we read what they would sing. Situations change but God never changes. No matter how many times things in Jerusalem changed over and over again, God’s love has never changed – it lasts forever and is today just as it was the day the first person was created on this earth. This is the promise we have. Although our situations change, God’s love for us remains the same and it can be trusted. God loves you no matter what has happened, is happening, or will ever happen in your life.
“ And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” – Mark 13:13 (ESV)
There are consequences to perpetuating the name of Jesus. We know the honor and respect God’s name deserves, the same for the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The Father sent the Son, Jesus, to earth to live a human’s life as a human and experience the life of the people He created. He encountered temptations and all physical effects that we encounter. But Jesus did all this without sin. He followed His Father’s will in every action, every thought, and every word. When His time on earth was coming to an end Jesus spoke to His disciples. The hate of the enemies of Christ was building to a climax to kill Him. He said that they too would experience that hate. Why? Because when they proclaimed their faith in Him and the Gospel message the world would turn on them. They were to be His sent ones – Apostles and in obedience to their call, the world would hate them because they proclaimed the name of Jesus. Not only the Apostles but all of us who follow Jesus as the only Way to the only God will also be hated for the name of Jesus.
“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 (NASB)
We hear many remarking how difficult this year has been and nearly everyone has been affected by the chaos in our world. They’re hoping hope next year will be better and are eager for this year to be over. How can we know if it will be any better? We can know that Jesus experienced much worse in His life for our lives sake. These words were written to encourage us when we are tempted to give up when it becomes really tough. The verse just before this one encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ our Savior which will help us to avoid giving up. Sometimes we may be tempted to think that it is not worth all the trouble involved in following close to the Lord. Then we should remember that Jesus came to earth to do his Father’s will and He encountered a lot of suffering. The leaders of the people hated Him and were hostile to Jesus and eventually killed him. But He endured it all, shame and death on the cross, and now He is in heaven’s glory and we’ll be there someday too. Let’s fix our eyes on Him today.