"I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God." Amos 9.15
Nearing the end of Amos' uncompromising judgment on the corruption of Israel and Judah and the inevitability and totality of their destruction, one might despair of the future. Yet even here and against all expectation, hope has the final word. Despite their fickle faith and the waywardness of their behaviour, God's intention for his people will prevail because his love for them is total. And, when all is said and done, reconciliation and restoration will be personal and permanent.
Because it is in the Bible, that message does not just apply to those who first received it from the lips of Amos, it applies to all of God's people - the New Israel - today. If Amos' contemporaries stuffed up, look at the mess we are making of God's creation today: crisis follows crisis, new depths of depravity are plumbed, military alliances are being formed, while the social fabric of their constituent societies are falling apart - and, all the while, the world burns and floods.
Reasons to be cheerful? From a secular perspective, not many, which is why the gospel is so relevant and necessary. It is not an easy option because it embraces much hard teaching and many home truths. Underlying it all is the promise that, despite appearances, God is in control, God has a plan which has already been secured in Christ, so there is hope. We have a choice: succumb to judgment and destruction or heed the Holy Spirit and follow God through the maelstrom into the realm of eternal peace.