Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Recipe for Hope from Lamentations

Lamentations 3:22-23 "The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."

Whenever you turn to the Book of Lamentations, you are reading a book written by the Prophet Jeremiah who witnessed the fall and carrying away of his people into exile in Babylon.  Jeremiah has been coined "the weeping prophet" due to the fact that much of his ministry carried sorrow over the non-repentance of his nation.  The Book of Lamentations are a series of five poetic songs written to lament over the eventual carrying away and destruction of the Jewish people in Jerusalem in 586 b.c. 

Thankfully not everything in Jeremiah's book of Lamentations is hopeless, for among the tear soaked verses we find some places where hope shines through.  In Lamentations 3:19:25 we find a recipe of hope tucked in the midst of circumstances that desperately needed a word from God.  In today's post I would like you to see the recipe for hope found in these verses.  The question we can ask of these verses is this: how can you retain your hope in the Lord? 

1. Recall God's Faithfulness.  
Lamentations 3:20-23 states: "Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."  This is an important principle to remember whenever your present circumstances yield no evidence of God's activity.  God's silence does not equate to God's absence.  At times you and I must hold our Bible before our eyes to understand the reality of God's faithfulness, even if other people and situations in our lives try to tell us otherwise.

2. Rely upon God's Graces. 
Consider these words in Lamentations 3:24 -
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Hebrew word translated "portion" can refer to "a share of possession".  To say that the Lord is our portion indicates that He has a claim on our lives.  Whenever you and I are viewing God as our portion, we are relying completely on Him.  Because of His "lovingkindnesses" and "compassions" being new every morning in verses 22-23, we can say: "the Lord is our portion".  Why? Because in taking up His provisions in the realm of daily graces, we are automatically saying that the Lord alone is enough.  

3. Rest in God. 
Note what Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 3:25 - "The Lord is good to those who wait for HimTo the person who seeks Him."
How can you tell you view something as good? When you are willing to wait upon it.  God is always good, no matter what.  Waiting on God is the equivalent of resting in God.  Often you and I never grasp how good He is until we are made to slow down and experience His goodness. To wait for God in 3:25 means to wait with the expectation that He will provide hope, namely Himself.  

May you and I partake of this recipe for hope in Lamentations 3:20-25 by Recalling God's faithfulness, Relying upon His graces and Resting in Him.  

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