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September 15, 2019 | Doug Sauder
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“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”—Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
I remember countless nights going to bed with tear-stained cheeks, mournful sobs, and a heart weighing a hundred pounds. Nights felt as though they’d never end, and I often wondered if death would be sweeter than waking to the same agony. Believing there would be no end to my pain, no end to the weight of my sorrow, no end to the tragedies of this world, I can’t even recall a specific night where one was worse than the other, because there were oh, so many.
Needless to say, I am deeply empathetic. The reality of pain is something never far from my heart. For years, I despised this part of my character because I was angry and overwhelmed, always bitter with false understanding of God—which is probably why I’ve always identified with the Book of Lamentations. I fully understood the seeking, the bitterness, the grief. What I didn’t understand were God’s promises listed within its pages.
When presented with the Word of God, we have two options: We can either read these words skeptically thinking we’ll believe it when we see it or we can choose to believe God’s Word. We can lay down our preconceived notions of what we think about the world or what we assume God’s position in Heaven is, and we can choose to believe what’s true. When I recognize His Word is true, the bitterness in my heart turns to understanding of God’s grace. The sorrow that tries to steal away my nights is replaced with a joyful expectancy of what is to come.
The promises in Lamentations seem never ending:
God’s compassion does not fail.
He is faithful.
He is all that I need.
He is good to me.
He will deliver me.
He will not reject me.
His love is abundant.
He defends me.
He redeems me.
Although the suffering and the realities of life and death are still very real, there is attainable hope. His promises are clear. His faithfulness is pure! When faced with the truth of God’s goodness, we can trade our deep sorrow for a joyful song. His comfort is clear: “My mercy NEVER ends. My faithfulness is great. Morning is coming.”
DIG: Read Lamentations 3, Micah 7:18-20, and Psalm 86:4-15.
DISCOVER: Are you actively trusting God? Do you believe His promises? Take time today to bow in reverence of His sovereignty, asking to be filled with belief in His merciful character.
DISPLAY: It’s okay to admit when you aren’t believing God. He isn’t surprised, and the community you’re in shouldn’t be either. Be vulnerable with your close community this week about the ways you are or aren’t trusting His Word. Seek a new place in your relationship with Christ, expecting for morning to come.