Seeking Shalom in Hardship
Scripture Reading — Jeremiah 29:4-14
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. — Jeremiah 29:7
Nobody likes to feel as if their life is stuck on hold. It does not feel good to be trapped in a situation where you don’t want to be, while longing for a place you can’t reach. I’ve encountered many people in situations like that. I have also felt that way myself at times. Sometimes it lasts for a short season; other times it lasts much longer.
God called Jeremiah to be his prophet during a deeply painful time for his people. Many of the people were in exile—taken far from home, away from everything they knew and loved. Through Jeremiah, God urged the people to live in hope, raising families, settling in, and trusting that the Lord had plans and a future for them.
We, too, often celebrate that God has plans and a future for us, and we mustn’t forget that he is with us even if we feel that our life is stuck. Just as God wasn’t finished with his people in exile, he isn’t finished with us.
Perhaps you know how tough it can be to feel stuck on hold. How can you live into that as a child of God today? What does praying for peace and prosperity look like right now?
God can bless you in your situation. What is more, you can be a blessing to others. God is still with you—even now.
Mighty God, strengthen us to live as your people here and now, regardless of our circumstances. Assured of our kingdom citizenship, we pray for the peace and prosperity of our community here and now too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.