Life can be difficult. That’s an undisputed fact in today’s world. But I also know, in my life, that God’s strength and care are sufficient. The words from the book of Lamentations puts it all in perspective. In chapter 3, actually throughout the whole book, Jeremiah is lamenting the desolation of Zion. And yet in the midst of this lament, verses 22-28 stand out like a beacon of hope.
19 - Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
20 - Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me.
21 - This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
22 - The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
23 - They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.
24 - "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."
25 - The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
26 - It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD.
God’s compassions truly are new every morning. When the sun rises, a new day starts, and it can be a new beginning for each of us. No matter how bad yesterday was, we have a fresh unmarred day ahead of us every 24 hours. God’s faithfulness to us truly is great. (This passage is where the Hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" comes from.) As verse 25 says, we just have to wait for God. He is working in our lives; he is faithful to us. When our hope is in him, when we daily seek him, he will not fail us.
And why is God’s compassion never failing and fresh every morning? Because, as verse 22 says, he has such a great love for us. That great love will keep us from being consumed in despair. That great love, when we remember it (verse 21), is what gives us hope. Even Jeremiah, (known as the weeping prophet) in the midst of his depression, knew this. And that’s why he wrote these words. These verses are like a small candle shining in an expanse of darkness, if you look at the rest of the book.
So the next time you have a rough day, or rough week, when nothing is going right, and everything looks gloomy and grim, turn to these words in Lamentations. Read them aloud. Cling to them. Claim them for your own. God will be listening.
© Paula Kirkpatrick, 2015