S192P6 – A people’s lament: where hope remains

Lam. 3:21‭-‬24

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!”

The verses prior to these are graphic and intense.  Jeremiah speaks of the Lord allowing the people to persecute him.  He also speaks of God himself causing him harm.  He had become a whipping post for the masses who rightfully were being judged, and their anger had become his punishment.  The despair is palpable in his words.  The pressure of his position had driven his face into the ground.  Yet, despite all this, he still had hope.  His God is good, merciful, just, and compassionate.  He might not have seen those attributes from his position at that point, or at least he could not appreciate them, but he had reminders.

Perhaps you have not been in the particular circumstance in which Jeremiah found himself, but you probably have had parellal experiences.  Disastrous days can pop up out of nowhere.  It can look like problems are coming at you from every direction, and the world seems to be conspiring against you.  You call for relief, but none comes.  You think that you deserve better than the conflict and turmoil, but they persist.  The God who is everywhere seems to be nowhere.  You reach out for him but touch nothing.  In those moments, your hope lies in the reminders of God’s presence and the good works He has done for you already.  The blessings of yesterday must serve as your encouragement on that day. 

God is good yesterday, today, and forever.  He is also gracious, loving, caring, kind, forgiving, merciful, and everything else that a holy God is.  When we cannot see it, we must still know it.  When we cannot feel it, we must still rest on it.  When things appear to be beyond hope, we must remember that nothing is beyond God’s power to intervene and come through for us.  He has never stopped being faithful; that would be an impossibility.  When the night finally relents, the day will break as reliably as always.  The light of days past must be our hope for light tomorrow.  Father, when the days grow difficult and dark, remind us of the blessings and the light we have found in You already and will find again.