How do we spiritually thrive in the midst of suffering? What are the thoughts that we should have, as we walk through a season of wide-spread despair and anxiety? How do we fight this daily COVID-19 battle to be able to interpret life through a biblical lens?
When suffering, hardship, or judgment comes, these questions will be a part of the dynamic in one way or another. In other words, pain of any kind causes us to ask really important questions, and it tests what we really believe. It shows us who we really are, it surfaces what we believe about God, for, suffering is hard, but it is not bad.
Chapter three contains probably the most familiar verse in the book thanks to the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness”:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22–23)
Most people sing this song with a view toward a reflective gratitude for what God has done. It is typically sung to give thanks for the Lord’s care or for his provision (“All I have needed thy hand hath provided . . .”). But in Lamentations 3, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is said, as Jeremiah looks at a smoldering, destroyed, and over-run city. In other words, Jeremiah is not just reflecting in his heart; he is pushing his heart toward what is true despite what he sees with his eyes. He is rehearsing what is true so that hope will rise.
Let us put our trust in God over and over when the circumstances of life are painful. Hard is hard, but hard is not bad. Why? Because God is good. That belief and trust matters the most when the circumstances of your life or family or city or nation might cause you to think otherwise. Even in the midst of the relentless battering of difficulty you can still “call to mind” what you know to be true about God.
Justly, aren’t we the only ones who have hope because of JESUS, in the midst of very difficult moments?
We need to preach to our own hearts. That, God’s mercy never ends (vv 22-24). Other translations render this as “lovingkindness” (NASB) as “great love” (NIV), or “faithful love” (NLT). In Hebrew it is Hesed, it is God’s covenant love for His people, and it is rooted in the very character of God.
Verse 23 says, “they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Jeremiah now makes it very personal and daily. God’s faithfulness and mercy affect every single day. Jeremiah, means that in each new day, we see evidence of God’s grace and that there is a possibility of renewal and repentance.
In verse 24, we get to the foundation of everything. “The Lord is my portion . . . therefore I hope in Him” In other words, Jeremiah is saying “The Lord is all I have” or “I’m living on God’s grace.” Psalm 73 says it: 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 (ESV).
Let us must remind ourselves that God’s mercy never ceases. “Good is the Lord to those who wait for him,” “Good it is that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,” 31 For the Lord will not cast off forever, 32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; (Lamentations 3:31–32). Everything is working out perfectly in accordance with God’s loving plan for our lives.
Loving Lord Jesus, we praise you because righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne, and that steadfast love and faithfulness go before You. I thank You because Your mercies are unending and they are new every morning. Enable me Lord, to reflect Your love and compassion specially, during this pandemic season. Help me to exalt Your name in everything that I do today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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