Read Lamentations 3
God's mercy; punishment of Zion; the faithful bewail their calamities and confess their sins.
I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light (Lam. 3:1-2).
The old prophet Jeremiah had walked with God through one dark calamity after another: He hath led me, and brought me into darkness. But he had assurance that the God he represented was able to guide him through the darkness. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me (Ps. 23:4).
He experienced the dark memories of a thankless ministry to which he had given his life, but he had no regrets. He had no reason to have regrets. He had given himself to the ministry of God. He had endured great hardships to carry the Word of God to a backslidden nation. He spoke each prophecy as given to him by God. He had truly walked the walk and talked the talk. In Jeremiah, we have a true prophet of God. He was ready to hear the words that every true follower wants to hear: His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt. 25:21).
Even though a Christian may be in darkness, it will move him to draw closer to God. Often God does not reveal Himself in these times of darkness because He is teaching His children to walk by faith, not by sight. Be prepared for times of darkness when you just can't understand why. We are never promised that there will not be difficult times. We only have the promise that God will see us through those times. The valley at times may get deep. The mountains may seem too high to climb, but God is there ready to direct us. Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you (I Thess. 3:11). Our great need is to follow God in the good times and bad times, through light paths and dark paths; He will lead, guide, and direct the way we walk. This can only happen if we allow Him total control of our lives. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's (Rom. 14:8). Though we may suffer afflictions with Jesus, He will see us through. Even when the dark shadow of death begins to encamp us, Jesus will see us through.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
Thought for Today:
God's Word gives assurance that He is leading us in the Light and not in darkness.
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).
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, boiled.
Pray for Staff: Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman (IN) • Country: South Africa (42.6 million) on the southern tip of the African continent • Major languages: Afrikaans and English • Religious freedom • 76% Christian; 1% Muslim; 1% Hindu; 15% Traditional; .5% Jewish; 6.5% None/Other (Baha'i, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Confucian) • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Ps. 73:25).
Optional Reading: Revelation 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Proverbs 3:1-2