“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!‘” (Lamentations 3:20-24).
Jeremiah, the ‘weeping prophet’, only gives us glimpses of hope in small doses. The subject matter of his prophecy, the times in which he lived, and the experiences he had leave little about which to be hopeful. I think that’s why it is important to notice when the sun comes out from behind the clouds in his writings.
Lamentations is properly named … a lament over God’s faithless people. Dire prophecies came from the Lord through Jeremiah in very plain and frightening terms. Ultimately what God wanted more than anything was for His people to turn away from idolatry and uniting with the heathen nations that surrounded them. It was not to happen for a long time.
But even in his grief, Jeremiah dared to hope. Everything around him may be in ruins, but the love of the Lord was strong and dependable. The Lord’s mercy regenerated daily. The only hope that Jeremiah could find in this world was in God. He goes on to say…
“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord” (Lamentations 3:25-26).
I don’t know what might be crashing and burning in your life right now. I know I’ve experienced that at different times in my life. I see it happening in the lives of friends and loved ones as they walk through the fire of hurt, pain, and suffering. Jeremiah points the way for all the hurting people … wait quietly, God isn’t absent in your struggle. Depend on Him. You can dare to hope because in spite of everything you see around you, God is not through yet.
Whatever season you are in, dare to hope. Find some grace in this moment when Jeremiah came up for air and realized He was in God’s capable hands. And, as he suggests, let there be some introspection as well.
“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:40).
Remember when the debt is piling high, when betrayal is stabbing your heart, when you’ve been let go from your job, when the failures keep happening, when you feel there is no hope – dare to hope. And call out to God.
“Yes, you came when I called; you told me, ‘Do not fear'” (Lamentations 3:57).