As I write this the new English football season has been underway for one week, and it’s a time full of new hopes for managers, players, and fans. For the managers the hope is that this season their players will play well and the tactics they use will bring the right results and this will ensure that they keep their jobs.
For the players the hope is they’ll play well enough to establish their place in the first team squad, and, for many from the lower leagues, that this may be the season that a manager from a top club will spot them and that will lead to a transfer to a bigger club.
And the hope of the majority of fans following their teams for many years is that this will finally be the year that their team achieves that ultimate goal in football; that is promotion to a higher league. For some these hopes will come to pass, but for a vast majority they won’t.
We live in a society where many people have hopes and dreams of being successful, or even famous. We see it in the many talent shows on the television. The truth is that only a few make it. So if the only hope people have is of being a success, then failure will be a difficult thing for them to deal with.
When the Jewish people had been taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon they must have been wondering what was happening to them. Then the Lord sent them a letter through Jeremiah, saying, ‘I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11).
We live in uncertain and unstable days, and as we look around us, just like the exiles in Babylon, we really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. So in these days we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, as the words of the following song by Wendy Churchill describe so well.
"We have a hope that is steadfast and certain,
Gone through the curtain and touching the Throne,
We have a Priest who is there interceding,
Pouring his grace on our lives day by day." (Wendy Churchill 1981)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You that whatever the future holds for each one of us You’re the one who holds the future. You know each one of us intimately and You know the hopes and plans You have for all of us. Help us, therefore, whatever we go through, whatever road You choose for us to journey on, to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You. For You’re the rock that cannot be moved, and in You we are secure. Amen.
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