Thoughts on Lamentations 3:21-23

“There is nothing new under the sun.” Sometimes I marvel at the truth of this simple phrase. As I was reading through the book of Lamentations and understanding the time it was written, I was reminded that the prophet *Jeremiah wrote this after his precious city of Jerusalem had been destroyed along with many of its people. He uses graphic language throughout the book to unload his grief saying things like, “He dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help.” Lam 3:11 Jeremiah was well-acquainted with grief!

Reading this book of the Bible reminds me that suffering is common to every generation in one way or another, just as it was well-known to Jesus. There are ways where the events of this year have taken away things I had expected to be guarantees. Health risks abound. Other medical and sociological concerns rise as we tend to the health risks. Political and social unrest and inequities seem as if no peaceful end is possible. I am constantly looking around me to find something to put my hope in, to be a place of rest and comfort. And each time I try to find hope in a social media post or news article, I come up hopelessly short.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “’The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” Lam 3:21-24

Sometimes I look at the world and feel frustrated with my comforts being gone. Even more, I can look at the world or even other believers and see my opinions and convictions being disagreed with. And I am quick to lose hope. If I find just one more news article to back my point of view, then maybe the wrongs in this world could be corrected.

Before Jeremiah gets to these wonderful verses in chapter 3, he has poured out his heart to the Lord, acknowledging the rebellion of his people. He brings his bold requests to the Lord as well. This is the part I often forget, that God is sovereignly reigning on his throne, daily accomplishing his purposes. He is not threatened by a virus; He is the very one who determines how far this virus can reach and for how long. His plans are not thwarted by nations rising and falling; He is the one who ordains these events.

It is easy for me to focus on what is going on around me, on the outside, rather than seeking the Lord with the things that are on the inside. When I look outside, I feel the most helpless. When I examine myself, I consider who God is and acknowledge my sin and desire for independence, as well as my complete dependence on Him. It is then that God’s promises become so sweet. As I understand his promises, I am inclined like Jeremiah, to boldly seek Him. I am drawn to seek him in the mornings and to cry out to him when I am getting irritated with my kids. I remind myself that his compassions never fail when my plans have suddenly changed. I will not become consumed by the world and its ways because God is good and faithful to His children.

These are the truths that my soul needs constantly. I wake up most mornings thinking through my to-do list and by 4:45 pm, I am most reliably despairing because I didn’t accomplish much and my kids are reminding me that they want every bit of my attention and that they are HUNGRY! These are the truths I need when I’m tempted to think that the biggest problems in the world are outside of me rather than within me. It is miraculous that God would choose to forgive me and bestow unending compassion on me for all the ways I have purposely and inadvertently tossed aside his laws and commands to choose my own way.

I so often take God’s Word for granted. But it is so precious. I am amazed that every word in it is true and life giving. No news article can accomplish this! Like Jeremiah, let’s find hope and comfort in the promises and truths from these verses today!

– Kim

*The book of Lamentations doesn’t mention the author, but many scholars believe that it was written by the prophet Jeremiah.


Published by MOMentsBBC

The MOMents ministry at Bethany Baptist Church in Peoria, IL exists to glorify God by proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and preparing His people by encouraging, equipping, and developing all mothers of preschoolers to realize their potential in Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 2:8).

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