The world around us is filled with so much brokenness. For some of us, that brokenness may even be in our own personal worlds as followers of Christ. Still, as believers, we come together and sing, “As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you” (Song 71 from Psalm 42, TLB). Has brokenness ever caused you to long for God? I suspect it has. That longing, spoken of in the song, is because of this brokenness, as seen in Psalm 42:5, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” Jeremiah, as he pens Lamentations, knows what these words mean as he is confronted with the distress of God’s people, as judgment comes upon them.
I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. Lamentations 3:1
God’s righteous judgment is very real in the life of Jeremiah. He expresses his distress with these words, “He has led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely He has turned His hand against me, time and time throughout the day.” (Lamentations 3:2-3). The anguish that Jeremiah felt was due to the Lord…His God. He goes on with the same thought process for several more verses. Okay, can we be honest about something? Can you relate to this? I know I can. Experiencing hardship, whether it is due to others around me or even my own selfish actions, often times results in me thinking (feeling) that God has deserted me. David said it this way, “My tears have been my food day and night, while they continuously say to me, where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3) The question the enemy asks in that verse, is the same question that I ask myself at times. Adversity can do that. Do what? Blur reality and cause us to see God, life, church, grace, mercy, and hope (among other things) in an unhealthy ways which only further blurs things. There must be HOPE!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases:
his mercies never come to an end…
Lamentations 3:22, ESV
The ETRV says, “The Lord’s love and kindness never ends, His compassion never ends.” My NKJV says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” Jeremiah, in the midst of his anguish, was seeking to reorient his mind, the way he was thinking. Listen to what is said in Lamentations 3:21, “This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope.” Jeremiah needed to remind himself and through the direction of the Holy Spirit, reminds us as well, that there is always hope! As the song we sing proclaims, as written in the word of God, “The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:24). May He be your portion this day, and every day forward.