Bible Pathway - Aug. 31, 2011

 

Read Lamentations 3

Highlights:

The compassion of God never fails (Lam. 3:22-23). By faith we seek Him (3:25-26); He always hears (3:55-57)! In worship, discipline is needed (3:26-27). God is our Inheritance (3:24); ever the same (5:19).

The old prophet Jeremiah had walked with God through one adversity after another. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness (Lam. 3:2). But he was assured that the loving, sovereign God he served would guide and protect him through the darkness. But it is also true that whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth (Heb. 12:6; comp. Rev. 3:19). Since we all need a "little" improvement, we can truly thank the Lord for His chastening.

The worldly-minded say that there is nothing so distressing, so depressing, so bewildering, or so hopeless to contend with as darkness. But the servant of God knows it (darkness) is a blessing to develop faith and trust, and to deepen our experience of His wonderful love.

Before Jeremiah could recover from one calamity he was stricken with another. The darkness of suffering had a particular meaning for Jeremiah as he remembered a lifetime of thankless ministry and its miseries. But he had no regrets for his faithfulness because his life was in the loving hands of God. He knew that not one blow more than was necessary would be permitted to fall. The rod of the love of God brings us nearer to Him. The most prolonged suffering will cease as soon as His perfect purpose is accomplished.

Even though a Christian may seem to be "in darkness," it need not lead to despair. It should draw him closer to God. God sometimes chooses not to reveal Himself in these times of darkness because He is teaching us to walk by faith, not by sight. Christian friend, be prepared for times of darkness when you just cannot understand what God is doing in your life.

Although Jeremiah was often in darkness (Lam. 3:2) not knowing its meaning, there was always a revelation of the Lord's loving, caring nearness. Would you choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season? Would you choose the easy road of this world, or would you consider the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (things the world offers) (Heb. 11:25-26)?

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

Thought for Today:

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all (Ps. 34:19).

Christ Revealed:

As the merciful Savior (Lam. 3:22). Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 1:21).

Word Studies:

3:5 builded against besieged; 3:9 inclosed blocked; 3:14 a derision a laughingstock; 3:15 wormwood bitterness; 3:29 putteth his mouth in the dust speaks humbly; 4:10 sodden soiled.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Marlin Stutzman • Country: Tonga (109,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: Tongan and English • Religious freedom • 55% Protestant; 22% Mormon; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord; our God is the Mighty God (Ps. 50:1).

Optional Reading:

Revelation 5

Memory Verse for the Week:

2 Timothy 3:4-5
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