Bible Reading: Lamentations 3
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
The writer of Lamentations 3 was going through some hard times. He was under heavy affliction, and worse than that, he was under God’s wrath, and he believed that “surely against me [God] turns His hand again and again the whole day long” (Lamentations 3:3).
Most likely written in a time of exile, the writer here laments what has happened to himself and Israel. Their nation had been scattered. Other nations had enslaved them. Worse than that, the Israelites knew that this was God’s punishment for them because they had been disobedient people.
“He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; So I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD” (Lamentations 3:16-18).
When we are afflicted with war, it seems like that would be the darkest of dark human experiences when we become prisoners of war. However, if we knew that this was God’s intentional punishment for us, there is no hope left for us. This man’s affliction was far worse than we could have imagined. What we go through day by day would not compare to what this man went through.
However, in the darkest of darks, where all seems to be lost, and even God has turned against us, this man pulls out the promises of God. He proclaims the famous line, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases”. This man once again latches his hope onto the LORD, the God Jehovah, who has promised to be faithful to Israel.
God promised back from Abraham’s time that He would gather His people into a nation. God promised that He would restore His people to return to Him. Thousands and thousands of years had passed since that promise, and Israel seemed to be broken and scattered everywhere. All hope seemed to be lost. Yet, in these darkest moments, we can trust God because of who He is. He does not lie, and in His sovereignty, He is faithful to His promises.
If this man could hope in God in His circumstances, how much more can we who live in this age. Jesus, the fulfilment of the promise has already come. Jesus was the awaited Messiah who would wash away sins and give people new hearts. Jesus was the one who would restore God’s people. He has come and done that. He has established His kingdom on earth in His church. We live in an age and time where we should be full of hope. We are in the last days. Jesus has already come, and we are awaiting His return.
Place your hope in the Lord. No matter what you are going through, set your eyes on Christ and what He has done. He is coming back soon. Fix your eyes on what matters. Endure the suffering and live for Christ because our hope is not in vain, and time will prove that our hope is a reality.
Lord, please have mercy on us. Fix our gaze upward to You. You are faithful and sovereign. You who have worked to bring hope to Your people throughout the ages stir hope once more in our hearts. Teach us to endure and live for You today and in our daily lives because our hope is sure in Jesus Christ. Strengthen our faith, strengthen our knees. Teach us to rely on You every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.