Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Lam 3:21-22 (NLT)
HOPE SERIES – PART 4
Lamentations is a book of mourning written by Jeremiah, whose warnings to his country went largely ignored. He prophesied to and encouraged his countrymen for years to return to God and worship. But their response was just more wayward living, and the results of that were starting to leak through the cracks of the nation.
Here he writes about the heartache of abandonment – 3:1 “I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger. He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light. He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.”
Jeremiah was a prophet and poet, and I can imagine that he felt everything deeply. It's though the book of Lamentations was more like a journal for him, rather than a book for public reflection. We’re getting an insight into what he was going through. And he was in a dark place.
Sometimes it can feel and look as though we have been shut out by God, abandoned, forgotten… or that God is against us, punishing us, and we are left surrounded by darkness with no way out… Jeremiah says in V18 “My strength and my hope Have perished from the Lord.”
I’ve had those moments, and I know you have too, where in the midst of despair a raw and guttural cry from the depths of your soul arises… This is what was happening with Jeremiah.
Let it arise, let those feelings come up…and then let them leave. Breathe them out, expel them from your heart. Because the truth is that no matter what it looks or feels like, God is still here, Jesus is still risen.
There is still HOPE.
His faithful love never ends – that gritty whisper that God has left you is a lie.
His mercies never cease – the idea that you’ve blown it with God is a lie.
Breathe out the heartache, and breathe in hope… rise in it and be confident that your HOPE, JESUS, has love and mercy for you that is endless. Hope will pick you up and carry you beyond the moments of despair and into days of peace.
Dare to hope.
Go to PART 5 “Hope Always”
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