A missionary went to some Indian villages with the gospel message. One day, after preaching in an open market, a Muslim gentleman approached him and said: “You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”
The missionary smiled and inquired: “I should be pleased to hear what it is.” The Muslim said: “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave.”
The missionary smiled again and replied: “That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindred and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”
That hope, which is still alive in us, is why Jesus is not in the coffin. For the Israelites, the Lord knew what would give them hope at the hour of their needs. Against the backdrop of his struggle with incurable false prophets at home, Jeremiah addressed a letter of hope to the exiles at Babylon.
“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10).
Jeremiah’s letter was intended to calm their nerves and bring them hope from the living God. He mentioned that the Lord had thoughts of peace towards them and not of evil.
God’s plan was to give them an expected end, that is, a future and a hope. They must, therefore, forsake the counsel of false prophets, who had been prophesying an immediate end to their captivity. Rather, they should be praying for the peace of the city wherein they were taken captives.
As Christians, God’s thoughts for us should be our only concern. We should not be bothered about what other people may think of us. The Lord wants to give us the desire of our heart, if only we let Him reign supremely in our life.
Thought for the day: Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the Source of your hope.
***Share your thoughts and what you’ve just learnt in the comments section below. Don’t forget to SHARE!