Read: Lamentations 3:17-26
“17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” 19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (NIV Lamentations 3:17-26)
Study: This passage came from Jerusalem after Babylon’s army tore down its walls, the Temple and most of its homes in 587 BC. Amid that wreckage (think of Ground Zero in September 2001) the writer of Lamentations voiced gritty trust in God’s faithfulness: “I have hope…. great is your faithfulness.” Whatever our challenges, we too can count on God’s faithfulness. Most often it’s times of crushing pain, disappointment and loss, that tempt us to give up faith in God. It’s all too human to think, “How could a good God let this happen?” But as our passage says, it’s precisely when all hope seems gone that God is our source of ultimate hope. What does “God’s faithfulness” mean to you (since it clearly doesn’t mean God shields us from all pain)? When was it hardest for you to hold onto hope? “It is good,” Lamentations said, “to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” How is waiting for someone you’re not sure of different from trustingly waiting for someone you know is utterly reliable? What has deepened your ability to wait for God?
Pray: Lord God, even in my darkest hours, I can find hope in you. It is not my faith that gets my through; it is your faithfulness. For that I give you thanks. Amen.