“Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.”
Jeremiah lived in trying times. A nation that once glorified God and served as a light to the world around them was now turning from the ways of God. The people had lost sight of God and were involved in practices that would soon bring calamity upon the nation. Jeremiah had been doing his best to warn the people and win them back to God. After several years of trying he once again receives a message from the Lord. The message is a commission for Jeremiah to stand in the courtyard of the temple and invite all the people to come to the Lord. This was not Jeremiah’s first attempt and it won’t be his last. The driving force behind the message is, “Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way.”
The word perhaps is used to express uncertainty or possibility. It is a word of hope. Maybe the last time Jeremiah shared no one listened, but perhaps this time will be different. Maybe the last time his message was met with mockery or hostility but perhaps this time will be different. I don’t think we can overemphasize the importance of hope as it relates to serving the Lord. Hope is a great motivator. It causes us to look at all that is possible if we continue to do what is right. Not all hope has the same value. Hoping that while playing the lottery we will win the Powerball is really a hope against hope. It is like standing in line with 150 million people for a single prize. Hope that the message of the gospel will be received and transform lives is not an empty hope. In fact it happens every day. There is a good chance that if you are reading this it has happened to you.
It would do us all good to be a little more hopeful as we look for opportunity to be used by the Lord. Instead of focusing upon those who reject the message we should fix our thoughts upon the possibility of those who will respond as we once did and see God transform their life and their living.