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Hope in the Darkness: Lamentations

Photo Credit: Daniel Burka

March 15, 2023

Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Sometimes it can be difficult to pray, especially in the low moments of life, but this is the very time we need it most. Our hope is in our God, and as we look to Him, He will be our strength.

Jeremiah knew all about the low moments in life. His book, Lamentations, is a memorial dirge, written after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. It is a collection of 5 sad poems of lament arranged in Jewish acrostic form. Each of the lines begin with the first letter of the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet. The center poem (chapter 3) is 3 times as long as the others (66 verses) because the verses are arranged in triplets.

These poems of lament are not only designed to show the physical situation of God’s people but also their spiritual condition. They reveal that there are consequences to sin. They teach that sin brings departure, destruction, and heartbreak.

While God punished the continuous rebellion of His people, it was for their ultimate good: the purpose was to restore them back to Himself.

This is expressed in the final words of the last poem: “Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old — unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us” (Lamentations 5:21-22 ESV).

Right in the center of these dark cloudy laments there is a beam of hope shining through. A number of times Jeremiah used the word hope to remind them and us that God can bring good from the bad and that He is supremely concerned for the welfare of His people.

In seeking help from this book, it is necessary for you to acknowledge any sin in your life, but don’t assume that the problems and difficulties you are experiencing are a result of your sin. This life is a valley of sorrow and the shadows of darkness fall upon all.

First, Jeremiah stated the rock-bottom place in which he found himself. He said, “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.’ Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me” (Lamentations 3:17-20 ESV).

So desperate was the situation that he was at the point of giving up, even on God.

Then he remembered something else. He began to recall the character of His God, and this brought the one strong ray of hope. He said, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 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 3:21-24 ESV).

The Hebrew word for steadfast love is hesed: the loyal, faithful, committed love of God for His people. It embraces love, grace, mercy, goodness, forgiveness, truth, compassion, and faithfulness. This love would never give up regardless of the situation.

Then he stated that God’s mercies, His compassions, and His tender love would never end and that they are fresh every morning.

Why? Because God is faithful. He always has been and He always will be!

He is true to His own character.

He is true to His own Word.

He is true to the promises made in the past.

Therefore He will not abandon His people. God was their hope back then, and He is our only true hope today.

Jeremiah reemphasized this in the next 2 verses, “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:25-26 NIV).

As we hope in Him, as we seek Him out, as we wait for Him, we get to experience His goodness and His salvation.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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