We move out of Psalm 119 this morning, and I will take you for a few more days to some of my favorite verses of Scripture that offer comfort and help when we are walking through days of difficulty.
The text today comes from the pen of Jeremiah, the ink on the scroll smeared by his tears. We think (hey, I think with you!) that our trials have lasted a long time, like since Hurricane Michael in October of 2018! But Jeremiah´s troubles lasted more than 25 years.
Jeremiah preached for 25 years that God´s judgment would fall upon his beloved nation Judah and his beloved city Jerusalem, while no one believed him. He must have doubted himself many times as He preached, but He never doubted God, so he preached on. Finally having preached the message of warning for 25 years, the judgment he hoped to forestall by the repentance of God´s people fell upon Jerusalem.
Far from feeling vindicated, Jeremiah was heartbroken. The dripping of his tears became a flowing fountain. Weeping without ceasing, Jeremiah wrote the Book of Lamentations about the downfall of Jerusalem.
Read a portion of his lament, just to feel the depth of his sorrow.
Lamentations 1:1–5 ESV 1 How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.
4 The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly.
5 Her foes have become the head; her enemies prosper, because the Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.
Yet even in Jeremiah´s despair, he has hope.
Folks, if Jeremiah still had hope with the capture and destruction of the city chosen by God, we can have hope!
Listen to His hope.
Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The steadfast love of the Lord that brought Jeremiah hope is the translation of the Hebrew word “chesed.” “Chesed” is the Old Testament word for New Testament “grace.”
God´s grace never stops.
God never runs out of mercy.
His supply renews daily.
Great beyond description is the faithfulness of God!
If you can, click the link below to listen to the song based on this text and sing along in worship of the Lord who offers hope in the worst of times.