Feeling a bit sad at the moment? Here’s some encouragement.
Our Daily Bread - October 27, 2020 - Choosing Hope
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD. Micah 7:7
READ MICAH 7:2–7
I am one of millions of people worldwide who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a type of depression common in places with limited sunlight due to short winter days. When I begin to fear winter’s frozen curse will never end, I’m eager for any evidence that longer days and warmer temperatures are coming.
The first signs of spring—flowers successfully braving their way through the lingering snow—also powerfully remind me of the way God’s hope can break through even our darkest seasons. The prophet Micah confessed this even while enduring a heart-rending “winter” as the Israelites turned away from God. As Micah assessed the bleak situation, he lamented that “not one upright person” seemed to remain (Micah 7:2).
Yet, even though the situation appeared dire, the prophet refused to give up hope. He trusted that God was at work (v. 7)—even if, amid the devastation, he couldn’t yet see the evidence.
In our dark and sometimes seemingly endless “winters,” when spring doesn’t appear to be breaking through, we face the same struggle as Micah. Will we give into despair? Or will we “watch in hope for the LORD”? (v. 7).
Our hope in God is never wasted (Romans 5:5). He’s bringing a time with no more “winter”: a time with no more mourning or pain (Revelation 21:4). Until then, may we rest in Him, confessing, “My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7). By Lisa M. Samra
REFLECT & PRAY
Heavenly Father, during difficult seasons of life, it’s easy for me to be discouraged; in those hard times, help me place my hope in You. And in every season of my life, help me share with others the peace found in life with You.
Where do you find hope in dark times? In what “winter” season has God given you the hope you needed?
Micah, the author of the prophetic book of Micah, had a fairly common name in ancient Israel. He was one of at least nine persons named Micah or Micaiah in the Old Testament. Micah means “who is like Yahweh.” Commentator Ralph Smith says this name is fitting for the book “because Yahweh is exalted in it. From the opening lines which announce Yahweh’s coming, to the closing assertions about God’s faithfulness . . . Yahweh is recognized as sovereign.” The prophet Micah is from the coastal town of Moresheth in the fertile plain of the Shephelah, about twenty-one miles southwest of Jerusalem. God calls him to leave this peaceful setting to confront the kings, priests, and peoples of Israel for their perversion of worship practices and injustice toward others. Micah preached God’s message in the eighth century BC during the reigns of three kings of Judah: Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Alyson Kieda