Yesterday we were thinking about the book of Lamentations as a church family. Some find this book deeply depressing and reading of Lamentations is sometimes neglected for this reason, apart from the thoroughly inspiring verses at the very heart of the book in the third chapter,
‘But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”’
We need to be careful not to single out these verses. They come amid devastation, depravation, destruction, and despair. But, God is still faithful. He is faithful however not only to the promises we cling onto as comfort, but to the promises we try to forget as his rebuke.
God told this nation that they would be attacked and exiled if they were unfaithful to Him. They were unfaithful (time and time again) and he did follow through in this discipline, but, in the midst of this, there was still great hope.
As I watched the film ‘The Hunger Games’ (I can’t remember which one), there was a comment by the president of the capital that made me reflect on the hope found in Jesus. He said, “Fear does not work where there is hope”.
The capital ruled the districts with fear, regime and violence, yet, hope came in the form of a saviour (of sorts) working to secure peace for the oppressed and hope for the hopeless.
Jesus emptied himself, came to live amongst humans who would try to oppress him and died a cursed death on a cross atop a hill (Philippians 2) to secure peace for the oppressed and hope for the hopeless.
This hope does not come from our own hearts, it is not secured by our own abilities, it is not inspired by the friendship of others, it only comes from Jesus. He is faithful to those who come to him, he is the author of faith, he the securer of hope and he is the perfect example of love. Hellelujah.
Are you feeling oppressed or demoralised? Does it seem like things are falling apart? That was the mind-set that these ‘laments’ where pouring out from. But Jesus is faithful and to him I can say, ‘Great is your faithfulness and thank you for the hope you have given me’. From where does your hope come?
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