By Toni Ford
The Book of Lamentations is not a book discussed or even spoken of very often, so this past week, I took some time to dive deeper into this book. As a result, I have found myself being stretched spiritually in my understanding of God’s attributes and character. It has been a week of deep reflection along with great refreshment in the process.
Lamentations is believed to have been written by the prophet Jeremiah, known as “the weeping prophet.” Throughout his 40 years of ministry, Jeremiah consistently sought to persuade the leaders of Judah to turn back to God and avoid national judgment. Instead, they persisted in breaking God’s covenant and following their own sinful desires. As a result, the Babylonian army invaded Judah and took the city of Jerusalem, destroying the city along with its temple. Jeremiah’s mourning over the invasion and destruction of Jerusalem creates the theme of Lamentations.
This book consists of five laments, or poems, that Jeremiah wrote after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. However, the purpose behind the book’s graphic depictions of sorrow and suffering was to produce hope in God and to remind us all of the magnitude of God’s faithfulness, which will always remain extended to those who have been condemned for their own unfaithfulness.
This leads me to the most famous passages of Scripture in Lamentations 3: 21-24: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul. Therefore, I have hope in Him.” Although Jeremiah still experienced pain and sorrow, he was able to turn from contemplating his misery to remembering God’s mercy and calling to mind God’s faithfulness, which gave him hope!
As I continued to read, I found myself asking, “So how was Jeremiah able to find hope in the Lord while at the same time having to watch the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple and people he loved be destroyed?”
Jeremiah gives us this answer in the third chapter of Lamentations.
The Lord will NEVER abandon His people. Lamentations 3:31 says, “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.” The Lord promises to NEVER abandon us while we are here on this earth. However, there will come a day when we stand before Him face to face and must give account as to whether we ever knew Him and accepted Him as our personal Lord and Savior here on earth. At that time, depending on our answer, we will remain with Him or be separated from Him for eternity. Yet even then the end result is not based on His abandonment towards us but rather our rejection towards Him.
He is in control of ALL events. Lamentations 3:37 says, “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission?” If I choose to put my trust in the Lord, knowing that He is sovereign, then I can rest knowing that He is always working on behalf of His children. God is the great I AM (Exodus 3:14) and He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Revelations 22:13). This does not mean God is the one who brings evil to earth, for God is a good Father. Because we live in a fallen world, Satan is the author of all evil and the father of all lies. The great news is that God is greater than Satan and that his army and our God can overcome every plan of the enemy!
He is a faithful God, and His mercies are new each morning. Lamentations 3:23 says, “The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.” Although our circumstances change, as well as our feelings about them, God is always good, loving, merciful and kind, and He NEVER changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). Trusting in other people and the things of this world invites constant unrest and disappointment, but to build on the changeless faithfulness of our God brings a peace and confidence that surpasses all understanding!
Lord, I pray that we would turn our focus from the things of the world and instead focus on You, Your faithfulness, Your sovereignty and Your presence in our lives.
Thank You for Your unending love and faithfulness to us, even when we do not deserve it! We love You, Lord!
If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!