Lamentations 3:18-24, “So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord. I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 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.’”
Is Lamentations your go-to book in the Bible when you’re seeking encouragement? Does it give you “God-bumps” as you find yourself in awe of His power? No! It’s quite a downer and a rather grim reminder of the fallout and destruction caused by sin and rebellion. But, it also shows us that it’s okay to cry out to God when we hurt, that He hears us, and that He is in control.
Here’s the backstory: Jerusalem had been conquered, and the Israelites were living in exile. They were utterly grief-stricken. Their entire societal structure was built on being God’s chosen people — who were they now? What was their purpose?
The author, likely Jeremiah, pours out his heart to God throughout the first few chapters, lamenting about all that has gone wrong and, at times, asking God to move in big ways. He’s so heartsick and grief-stricken that by the beginning of chapter 3, it’s hard to keep reading. But, suddenly, in verse 21, one little word is a huge game-changer! The word “yet” releases him from the bonds of despair as he suddenly remembers that God is in control, God is faithful, God is merciful, God is bigger than his circumstances — and hope is found in God alone!
It’s hard in times of grief or loss to cry out, “Great is Your faithfulness!” But no matter what trouble or trauma befalls us, we must remember that God can turn tragedy into triumph. His love never fails. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, remember that it’s okay to cry out to God, to lament and release your feelings and frustrations. And then, yield to the “yet” as you claim the hope, peace, and joy that is forever yours in Christ!
Lord, Great is Your faithfulness! No matter what I face, I place my hope in Your steadfast love. Thank You for mercy and grace. You are my everything! Amen!