Finding Hope: Celebrating Christmas Amid Crisis

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Abby Trivett

For those who have been monitoring the war and destruction in Israel that first broke out with a devastating and violent attack from the Hamas terrorist group in October, the reports of the destruction have been nothing short of heartbreaking. As we enter into the Christmas season during this time of war and chaos, it can become easy to wonder where the hope and the light is to be found. Yet, even in the middle of war and destruction, God always provides a way.

One of the most famous verses from Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, which reads: “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” What most people don’t realize about this verse is the context in which it was given. It wasn’t given to a group of people who were in excellent condition. Instead, it was spoken to Israelites who were facing captivity from the Babylonians. While the false prophets wanted to tell them that this period of time would be quick, God spoke the hard truth to Jeremiah—His people would spend 70 years in Babylon.

This means there were Jews would spend the rest of their lives in this circumstance. Perhaps some who would only ever know this lifestyle and never experience freedom. And yet, God was promising a hope and a future to His people in the middle of what easily could have been seen as a time of complete desolation and isolation.

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In this time of captivity, God told the people through Jeremiah that they should continue to go about life; they should build homes, plant gardens, eat well, marry and give their children in marriage. They were not supposed to forsake the purposes that God had for them in the middle of their waiting for freedom. The finish line would come when they would no longer be subject to Babylonian rule, but until that time, they were supposed to continue on with daily life.

Jeremiah 29:10 says: “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”

The Lord was preparing His people for what ultimately was coming. The trials were still going to come because the world is still tainted by humanity’s fall for sin. However, He promised that this season of heartache would not last forever.

What is happening today in Israel is no doubt heartbreaking and showcases the absolute worst parts of humanity. As we see this war happen during the Christmas and Hanukkah season, we may think that God has abandoned His people. The good news is that He has not. His heart is still for them just as it was in the time of Jeremiah. Even in the middle of devastation, God still sees, hears and knows us. So, this year, as you continue to support the Israeli people in their time of need, remember to pray for God’s great plan to come to pass for His people that is for good and not evil.

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Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.

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