“Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem.” (Jer. 32:44)

LOOKING AT THE TEMPLE burned to the ground, the utter destruction of the kingdom of Judah, it was natural for the people to say, “All hope is lost!” It would be impossible for the temple to be rebuilt. It would be impossible for this desolate land to sustain life once again. Yet, into this impossible context, God declared that the impossible would someday happen: fields would grow, houses would be built, and the people would know peace.

There are people in parts of the world who still witness the destruction of their homes and lands due to natural disasters or military conflict. Maybe we don’t know what such devastation is like. But we do know the feelings of hopelessness that come with lost jobs, deaths of family members, wayward children, and broken dreams. When any tragedy strikes, we feel like we face impossible situations.

Jeremiah’s purchase of land at the beginning of seventy years of exile was a small act which served as a sign that God was still at work and would be at work in the future. When faced with our own tragedies, or the tragedies of those around us, we might also find small hopeful acts. The embrace of a loved one, the presence of those who still support us, the simple prayer we share with others—these are down payments of hope that He is at work.

Do something simple to declare hope in the face of the impossible.

Brian Niece is a former pastor who is now pursuing a PhD, writing, spending time with his wife and three kids, and watching way too much football.

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