Word of Lament #6

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:19-23

  Jeremiah was so good at lamenting that he was nicknamed “The Weeping Prophet”. He wrote a whole book of the Bible entitled “Lamentations”, which expressed his deep sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians, just as Habakkuk predicted. No one had listened to his warnings of coming judgment so God’s people were carried off to exile in Babylon – a very sad time in Israel’s history.

  Like Jeremiah, our thoughts tend to focus on our misery. We go over and over our troubles in our minds. We rehearse our painful pasts and remember them well, until at last, we have depressed our very souls. Although it’s hard to stop the spiral downward, it can be done and Jeremiah shows us how. He interrupted the flow of negative thoughts and changed direction. It’s like he said to himself, “Hey, wait a minute. Come over here, thought. Give me something better to contemplate. I call on you to help me turn this around.”

   What has the power to put our pessimism in its place? First, think about His love, His great love. Second, consider His unfailing compassion, His deep feelings for us and intense desire to come to our aid. Third, ponder His faithfulness that shows up every single morning with a fresh batch of mercies. Here is where our hope lies, even in the most trying of circumstances.

   God is not driven away by our questions of “Why?” and “How long?” He courteously waits for our “Yet…” and helps us summon the thoughts that keep our minds rehearsing His love, compassion and faithfulness.

Lord, thank You for the example of godly people who showed us how to lament. As we bring to You our honest feelings, remind us of Your faithful love.    

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