Old Testament In a Year: November 9 – Lamentations 3, 4, 5

Lamentations 3, 4, 5
Focus Verse: Though I call and cry for help, He shuts out my prayer. – Lamentations 3:8

There have been times in my Christian walk when I have felt like the writer of Lamentations.

When things do not work out the way I think they should work out or when things do not happen as fast as I would like them to, it seems as if God is repeatedly turning His hand against me. When a series of unfortunate events hits me, it seems as if God is determined to inflict me with bitterness and tribulation instead of peace and happiness. And when I cry out for help and call to be delivered, God does not seem to hear. I feel as if His ears are shut to my prayer, as if His eyes are closed to my pain.

The sound of God’s silence deprives my soul of peace, causes my endurance to fail.

BUT…

When I remember that God is for me and not against me, then my hope is renewed.

When I remember that the love God has for me is steadfast and never ceases, then my strength is restored.

When I remember that the mercies of God are never-ending and are new every morning, then my faith is reignited.

When I remember that the faithfulness of God is great, then my joy is returned.

AND…

This becomes my prayer: Even when I cannot hear Your voice, God, I will wait for You. Even when I cannot trace Your hand, I will trust Your heart. I know You will not cast me off forever. You are my portion. Therefore, I hope in You.

Old Testament In a Year: November 8 – Lamentations 1, 2

Lamentations 1, 2
Focus Verse: The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against His word; but hear, all you peoples, and see my suffering; my young women and my young men have gone into captivity. – Lamentations 1:18

The people of Israel experienced harsh punishment from God because of years of unrepentant disobedience. Yet the writer of Lamentations, traditionally believed to be Jeremiah, writes that “the Lord is in the right”. He doesn’t curse God for the destruction that has come upon Israel. He doesn’t blame God. He doesn’t reject God.

“We have sinned against you,” the writer says, “and You are right to punish us.”

Such should be the attitude of our hearts when we find ourselves under God’s hand of chastisement because of some sin we have done. When we experience God’s wrath instead of His mercy and are recipients of His righteous anger instead of His good pleasure, it is easy to get bitter instead of better. But God does not intend for His chastisement to last forever. When we disobey Him, God punishes us out of love, not hate. He hurts us in order to heal us and wounds us so that we can be made whole.

1 Year In God’s Word: Day 313 — Lamentations 3-5, Hebrews 13

year-in-Gods-Word-day-313

Lamentations 3
Focus Verse: Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: (21)

What did Jeremiah call to mind? He remembered the Lord’s great love. He remembered His unfailing compassions. He remembered His great faithfulness. When we remember that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever; that His goodness and love does not change, we too will always have hope.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 312 — Lamentations 1-2, Hebrews 12

year-in-Gods-Word-day-312

Lamentations 1
Focus Verse: “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples; look on my suffering. My young men and young women have gone into exile. (18)

Both Judah and Jerusalem have been devastated and destroyed. Some of God’s people have been carried away as captives, and others have been scattered. As the title suggests, this book is one of mourning and grief. Even though Jeremiah is in tears over the plight of his fellow people, he recognizes that God is righteous in punishing their rebellion and disobedience.

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