The Road to Hope

YHWH Apparel
4 min readMay 2, 2023

By Elisabeth Shin, YHWH Web Development

“This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” (Lamentations 3:21–22)

I read these verses today while doing my devotions, and they hit hard. This past week was tough, and the combination of the weight of impending doom (finals), heavy responsibilities, and relational conflict made it easy for me to forget about God — even push Him away — out of pride and self-reliance. But reading Lamentations put my difficulties into perspective and reminded me that God is an amazing, loving God who is rich in mercy and unfailingly faithful to keep his covenant promises.

In conversations with my Christian friends, I throw around a lot of holy-sounding words like joy, grace, trust, and faithfulness, but I realized I don’t ever really mention hope. Reading these verses made me think: what does hope even mean?

Our friend Merriam-Webster defines hope this way: “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.” I tend to say things like, “I hope I get an A on this CS61A midterm.” But I only “hope” for this half-believing it. If hope is defined as desire with an expectation of fulfillment, is there something that I can 100% expect to be fulfilled? What do I have full hope in?

For the Israelites in Lamentations, they had lost all hope. Jerusalem had just been destroyed, and God’s people had everything ripped away from them as they were dragged into exile in Babylon. This was a direct result of Israel’s constant rebellion against a Holy God who, because of His commitment to His promises to Abraham, Israel, and David, was also committed to dismantling Israel’s kingdoms if they were unfaithful to their covenant obligations.

The poems of Lamentations are so visceral in their raw words of confusion, anger, and loss as Jeremiah pours out his heart to God. It is almost painful to read how brutally honest Jeremiah was with God, and yet the way he so closely spoke with Him shows how much he trusted his God. But what struck me most was how Jeremiah did a total 180 within the span of a couple of verses.

Jeremiah sounded absolutely crushed in verses 17–18: “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” And yet, a couple of verses later, the tone completely shifts: “This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” Nothing had changed for the Jews. No circumstances were improved; they weren’t rescued from Babylon, and yet Jeremiah had faith. He curbs his feelings, the fact that his soul “is bowed down within” him (v. 20), and he clings to the truth of God’s promises.

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:10–11)

From Genesis all through the Old Testament (Genesis 3:15), God promised to send a savior, a remnant who will return and redeem (Isaiah 10:21). Israel waited for this Messiah — their hope for centuries. They faded in and out of faithfulness, and yet God remained faithful and true. Just as He promised, God sent His Son to die on a wretched cross, a thief’s death, to save His people from their sins — people who despised, spat on him, and reviled him. And yet He did it because he loves us so much (John 3:16). Now, I don’t have to hope in the expectation of a savior. Now, I live with full joy in the aftermath of the fulfillment of those promises. I can live by God’s grace with 100% assurance and faith that I am purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ, my sins are forgiven, and I am reconciled to the Father. I am now an heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), and I will inherit a kingdom that cannot be shaken, cannot be broken into (Matthew 25:34). And how absolutely amazing is that!

Where do I place my hope when life gets painful? When relationships disintegrate, health proves frail, loved ones die, and my failures pile up around me?

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25–26)

Even if everything falls apart, I can rest secure in the truth that the Lord God reigns, and He does so perfectly, with love and mercy. If Jeremiah could have full hope in God while still waiting for a savior, then we can have that much more hope having seen His sovereignty and faithfulness throughout the entirety of the Bible. Our God will accomplish His purposes, and nothing can stand in his way.

What truth can calm the troubled soul?

God is good, God is good

Where is his grace and goodness known?

In our great Redeemer’s blood

Who holds our faith when fears arise?

Who stands above the stormy trial?

Who sends the waves that bring us nigh?

Unto the shore, the rock of Christ

O sing hallelujah!

Our hope springs eternal

O sing hallelujah!

Now and ever we confess

Christ our hope in life and death

(Keith & Kristyn Getty, “Christ Our Hope In Life And Death”)



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