Discover the Book - January 12


Lamentations Says to Worship Our God of Hope

"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I hope in Him!"
-Lamentations 3:24, emphasis added

Lamentations was written by Jeremiah. As he sat down and looked over the smoldering ruins of his beloved Jerusalem, his voice rose to the wail of sorrow, a lament. That is why the book is called Lamentations, which was a funeral dirge over the City of God. Inspired by the Spirit of God, this serves as a message of encouragement that the next time things crash and burn in your life and your whole world is falling apart-family, health, finances, emotions--look to God as the God of hope!

The theme of Lamentations and this middle chapter agree: "Great is Your faithfulness, almighty God!" The Lord taught Jeremiah that no matter how the world was falling apart, personally or nationally, he could still hope in God. And that is why we can find living hope for the end of days!

For an even clearer picture, let's go back to where we started in Lamentations. Meet Jeremiah. With his life in shambles--his friends all dead, and the smoke and stench of destruction all around everything he had ever held dear--Jeremiah wrote the poem that explains the pathway of hope.

The Pathway of Hope: Have you ever felt that life was too painful to even go on? Jeremiah did, and without the benefits and blessings we have in this church age. He persevered with living hope in the midst of that pain. In Lamentations 3, we can see the pains God uses, manages, allows, and, most of all, handles for us. Note how Jeremiah trusted and endured through the pain of these stresses.

  • Broken physical health:He has aged my flesh and my skin, and broken my bones (v. 4).
  • Deep emotional strain: He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe (v. 5).
  • Periods of dark depression: He has set me in dark places like the dead of long ago (v. 6).
  • Desperation and the burden of being trapped: He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy (v. 7).
  • Feeling out of touch and distant from God: Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer (v. 8).
  • Frustration and confusion: He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked (v. 9).
  • Anxiety and sadness: You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity (v. 17).
  • Physical weakness and hopelessness: And I said, "My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord" (v. 18).
  • Bitter affliction and aimlessness:Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall (v. 19).

If Jeremiah were to stop with verse 19, we might feel discouraged as we face our own trials. But his list of woes actually crescendoed until it broke forth into overflowing hope in verses 21-26. After praising God for His daily compassions and great faithfulness, Jeremiah testified: The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (vv. 25-26, emphasis added).

What a God we serve! Just as He offers hope in Lamentations, allow Him to be what you need to make it through life on a hopeless earth. As we speed toward the end of days, God offers living hope to each of His children. Let Him weave your weaknesses, like fragile fibers, in with the countless strands of His promises. Let Him stretch and twist you into waiting hope. And then, when troubles increase, let Him bring you a fresh portion of His hope and goodness as you wait enduringly with hope in Christ.

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Originally published January 12, 2021.