Old Testament Lesson
In Jeremiah, there is much talk about judgment and punishment for Israel's sin. But, even in the midst of the worst judgment, there is the hope of redemption. There is hope of salvation and restoration and grace. Nothing is beyond God's grace. No person is beyond redemption, no one is beyond salvation.
Israel would be punished for the things they had done. But, God would not forget the promises He had made to them. There would be a remnant that would be brought back, that would be saved. That to me, is the great hope of the Bible. There is always that opportunity for salvation. Always, always always. Remember, even in the darkest moments, God is working out a way to bring you back to Himself. If only we will respond.
New Testament Lesson
We see that Old Testament truth proved out in this passage. All things work to the good of those that love God. Does that mean that all things are good? No, but it means that even in the worst moment, God can bring something God out of it. There is no situation so bad that God can't bring something good out of it. God is always at work, in everything.
I give the illustration within sermons that within tragedy, I realize how much my family meant to me. So, does God cause tragedies to happen so I would love my wife more? Of course not! But, God can bring something good out of it for me. Even the worst moment, God can do some good. Even in the darkest hour God can bring something good out of it. All things can work out for God's glory.
The power of God, to me, is not that He keeps bad things from happening, but that He can bring something good out of even the worst situation.
He is the bread of life. Nothing else is. He told the people that in the past, they ate manna. Now, they must eat the bread from heaven. They must not rely upon the things done in the past, but they, each one of them, must feast upon Him, and come to life in Him. Today, may we come to life; that life that comes only from Jesus.