Scripture: Jeremiah 4:9-10; 19-28 (NIV)

“In that day,” declares the LORD, “the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled.” Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”

Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet; I have heard the battle cry. Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment. How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet? “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone. I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. This is what the LORD says: “The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.”

It was a terrible time for the galaxy. The Empire, arising from the ruins of the Republic that had been good and just for thousands of years, now held sway. Oppression and misery were rampant. As for the Jedi, as Grand Moff Tarkin said, “their fire has gone out of the universe.” There seemed little to live for, no hope to be had.

And yet, unexpectedly, there was something after all. Two babies, destined to overthrow the Emperor and restore freedom to the galaxy, were born in the darkness. The Jedi fire still had some embers. Peace and freedom to many was restored by Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, and the band of rebels were dedicated to something greater than themselves. After all, rebellions are built on hope. Without that belief that things can be better, there’s little reason to do battle.

Jeremiah didn’t have much hope either. Evil was everywhere, the grip of a relentless foreign power was around the throats of the people. Nothing seemed to be going right for the people of God. The Lord Himself had poured out some anger on the tribe of Israel. Things had to look pretty bleak. However, things weren’t completely dire, because the Lord said He would not completely destroy His people. His love for them was greater than the sin they were wallowing in. There was a silver lining, a not completely black sky.

There is always hope for the Christian. That hope may not lie on this side of heaven, but we know that this side is the short side. We know that God loves us truly and wants the best for us, so we can trust that, one way or another, things will be better in time!