The days are surely coming says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt - a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, 'Know the Lord', for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
When things are very desperate in our life, for whatever reason, can we have total confidence in God and to look ahead to the future? Well most of us may well find it difficult to do one or both of these things, if we're honest. But this little vision for the future comes from the prophet Jeremiah, and was given at a time when Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Assyrians (586 BC) and Jeremiah had actually been removed to Ramah as a prisoner.
Jeremiah could see that the agreement between God and His people had broken down. The people saw it as a kind of legal code, that didn't reflect their spiritual life and seemed to separate them from God. But in the middle of his dreadful situation Jeremiah is filled with hope - hope that something better will rise out of the ashes of the Old Covenant. God will make an agreement with each person, within them.
It was to be Jesus, the Messiah, who brought in the new Covenant, and through Him we are re-united with God, and assured of forgiveness. When life is hard you might like to revisit the words above that I have put in bold, and perhaps learn them.
You have called us to be Your people
and write Your words on our hearts.
When life is challenging
keep us strong in the hope
that we are Your children
and as our Heavenly Father
You know what is best for us.