Great Is His Faithfulness
Today’s Reading: Lamentations chapter 3 (SOAP, 3:21-24)
Jeremiah Lament Turns Personal
Lamentations 3 appears a more personal lament of Jeremiah’s. In the previous laments he has focused on the city, the destruction, the responsibility, God’s wrath, and a few personalized comments. However, chapter 3 there are a lot of “I” and “my” statements like:
- “I am the man who has experienced affliction”
- “He drove me into captivity”
- “He made my moral skin waste away”
- “He has shut out my prayer”
- “To me he is like a bear lying in ambush”
- “I have become the laughingstock of all people”
- “He ground my teeth in grave”
- “I have lost all hope of deliverance from the LORD”
- “I am depressed”
Then the lament changes from despair to hope (21-24) and it wasn’t because his situation had changed – but because Jeremiah had purposefully made himself remember truths about God that countered the fears of the circumstances.
- God is faithful
- His kindness never stops
- His compassions won’t fail
- His faithfulness is great
- He remembers that God (not the circumstances or people around him) is the source of his happiness and blessing
Please notice that Jeremiah’s and Jerusalem’s situation had not changed what changed were his thoughts and the attitude of his heart. In the middle of the lament he determines to list out the goodness of the LORD. He purposes to keep his hope in the LORD and replaces what he had declared as lost in verse 18 with an attitude that seems to mirror the Psalmist’s in Ps 73:26.
How Do We Apply This?
Applying this requires being purposeful and determined like Jeremiah, who after lamenting he was depressed said, “yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” At perhaps the lowest point of his lament, hopeless and depressed the thought of God’s goodness, the knowledge of His great love, the remembrance of His daily, unending mercies, and His great faithfulness flowed through Jeremiah’s mind like a song and restored his hope. I wonder if he ever imagined that his lament and recorded resurgence of hope written for all of time and used by God to change people’s life in the 21st century? I know they certainly changed mine more than 32 years ago and they continue to make a difference today.
- When depression and hopelessness set in I learned to think about the truths that Jeremiah listed in verse 22-24. Consider writing them down or reading them often so that they become part of your thinking.
- Look for and remember ways that you have seen God like this in your life
- Say to myself/yourself, I will put my hope in the LORD because He is my “portion”, my true and lasting source of happiness and blessing.
Father the circumstances of life and the choices we’ve made are often a bitter poison. They will easily rob us of hope and joy unless we purposefully call to mind Your kindness, compassion, mercies, faithfulness, and sufficiency. Help us, even in our laments, to be determined to know and be quick to call these truths to mind whether in times of trouble or everyday living. – and in this may others see and hear of You – for Your glory – In Jesus’ Name – Amen!