Saturday, 2 July 2022
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23
The Book of Lamentations is a heart wrenching cry to God at the sight of the suffering of His people. The Israelites’ grievous sins and disobedience to God led to the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25). While the first two chapters of the book is an outpouring of grief over sin, Lamentations 3 is a poem that portrays hope in the Lord in the midst of afflictions and great sorrow. The book concludes on the note that God will not allow his children to suffer forever.
The author reminds us that sin comes with consequences. Sin, with all its allure gives only a temporary worldly satisfaction, but it leads to a lot of grief and separation from God. Despite the prophet’s warning to the people of Israel, the people continued in idolatry and sin, stirring up the wrath of God and God allowed the Babylonians to invade Jerusalem and take the people captive. The prophet Ezekiel talks of the glory of God leaving the temple as the people continued in sin. This is the human condition today. When we rebel against God in gratifying the weaknesses of the flesh, His divine presence is no longer with us and we leave doors open for satan’s attacks, leading to great suffering.
But in our most hopeless situations, there is yet hope in God. God’s mercies are never ending. His mercies are new each morning. Although He chastens us, when we seek Him with a repentant heart and confess our sins, He forgives us and washes us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Our Father’s mercy to each one of us is revealed in that He gave His only Son to pay the penalty for our sins. It is God’s mercy that we are not consumed by His anger. ““For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed…” (Malachi 3:6). During trials and suffering, recall the goodness of God that has led us thus far.
We serve a faithful God. Faithfulness is an attribute of God, which means He is completely reliable and trustworthy. God is faithful in His grace and goodness towards us. Are you at a juncture in life when you are facing tremendous pain? Let us hope in the Lord. Often times it is so difficult to have hope when things take a turn for the worse and our hearts are burdened. But, like the author of Lamentations, at our lowest point we should be able to say with confidence that this faithful and merciful God is my inheritance – ‘The Lord is my portion,’ and, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ (Lamentations 3:24). God is faithful when He says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Dear child, if you are going through tough times, be encouraged today that ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning’ (Lamentations 3:23). In the midst of every pain, remember that God is with us. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
'In the hour of my distress when temptations me oppress and when I my sins confess sweet Spirit, comfort me.' -Robert Herrick
Listen: 'The steadfast love of the Lord'