The Christian life is all about peaks and valleys. When we are feeling good about our relationship with God and Jesus and something happens to re-enforce those spiritual feelings, we call that time “peak times” or “mountain top experiences.” When things don’t go right and we wonder if God is really listening to us (or if He really cares), those are the “valley experiences.”
The prophet Jeremiah gave the Hebrew people a “Peaks and Valleys” lecture. Jeremiah witnessed the brutal takeover of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. by the Babylonians. The Hebrew people who survived the ransacking of their homes and property were taken into captivity and marched hundreds of miles from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was a real down time – a real valley time in their faith.
And that’s where Jeremiah comes in with words of hope. He tells them (and us) God’s promise: “For surely I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). In these words, Jeremiah delivers God’s answer to His people’s questions: “The valley you are in right now won’t last forever. God is with you and will see you through.”
Jeremiah’s words still ring true for us today. God has plans for us—as individuals, and as a community of faith. God offers us–each and all–a future with hope. Isn’t that good news? Especially on those days when the terrain feels more like a valley than a peak! God offers us a future where pain can be transformed into joy. God offers us a future where relationships can be restored. God offers us a future where brokenness can be made whole.