Finding Hope in God’s Steadfast Love

Ever feel emotionally exhausted from the things going on in life?

Ever wish you had a crystal ball so you could see into the future?

You’re not alone!

In the book of Lamentations, we find Jeremiah writing at a time when Jerusalem has been captured. The Israelites are living in exile. The people have turned away from God and turned away from loving one another. Jeremiah has virtually lost everything.

It’s safe to say, he was probably emotionally exhausted, and if it had existed at the time, he probably would’ve felt like shaking one of those Magic 8 Ball toys or finding a crystal ball. But he had something better than either of those things to turn to…

While the majority of Lamentations is Jeremiah reflecting on the wrath of God, there are a few verses that many consider the heart of the entire message … and they show Jeremiah’s faith and hope despite his circumstances.

**** Lamentations 3:22-24 ****
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.”

God wants us to live one day at a time. In this verse, Jeremiah reveals two of God’s greatest attributes: Mercy and Compassion. If we choose to live within those attributes, and we truly have faith in God, every day is a new day for us.

New doesn’t mean it will be better. New means every day we get another chance. Another chance to become more Christlike. Another chance to see the good around us despite our circumstances. Another chance to recognize a growth opportunity amidst the challenges. Another chance to turn away from our sin and ask for forgiveness. Another chance to extend forgiveness to others and let go of the hate or hurt we have been harboring. Another chance to build our faith.

Faith isn’t based on the circumstances that surround us. It isn’t based on the things God gives us. It shouldn’t be lost because of unanswered prayers. Instead, unconditional faith is entirely based on our personal relationship with God, recognizing the Holy Spirit, and turning to the words found in the Bible to guide us.

Hope can only happen in our times of despair if we remain focused on the Lord.

One of my favorite reflections on the book of Lamentations is the notion that Jeremiah had to be humbled to move from hurt to hope.
I have never been baptized. I was super excited this last Sunday that was supposed to change. God had other plans, and COVID meant more cuddles with my kiddo as we watched church online instead of being there actually stirring the baptism water.

But when I met with one of our pastors in November, he asked me why I wanted to be baptized now. I told him the story of my 2021. I told him how after years of letting pride lead my life, I was knocked off my high horse as my world felt like it was crumbling around me. I told him sometimes you have to reach a place of total humility for God to get your attention and refocus your heart.

If Jeremiah taught us nothing else in his writings, he taught us that in the midst of pain, we must turn away from our emotional responses of anxiety, worry, fear, anger, pride, eating chocolate 🍫 (insert your go to emotional response) and instead always remember to turn to God’s grace, love, and mercy. We must be willing to be humbled.

So the next time you feel emotionally exhausted, see it as a sign that God is telling you to let down the heavy burden you’re trying to carry alone. He is calling you to turn to Him in faith.

And the next time you want a magic ball to see the future, know that God already has a master plan. You’re living it, and He is growing you.
You’re truly not alone.