Great is Thy Faithfulness

by Esther

Students of the Bible don’t jump at the opportunity to study a book like Job or Lamentations. The subjects of pain and suffering are too close for comfort. We don’t want to go there in our thinking. However, great comforts surface in these books. Today I want to take a look at Lamentations. It is a book of unfathomable sorrows, and yet it is a walk of grief leading to triumph. There are truths that can steady and hold us in times of deep pain.

The first part of the book tells us about being in dark times. Certain realities exist. There are bitter tears in the night. Deep loneliness settles in with a sense of having lost control. Life’s high points of celebration are missing. There is deep loss. Sometimes it is financial due to loss of income or extra expenses. There is blaming of God and an anger towards him. He feels far away and as if a brass ceiling separates us, our prayers echo back unheard. Well-meaning people attempt to cheer the tormented one, based on their own inability to help, by predicting or saying things not based in fact. There is nowhere to turn and we feel boxed in and helpless.

The author of Lamentations tells us in chapter 2:19 to do the following:

“Arise, cry out in the night…..Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him.”

In prayer, you can tell God like it is, as the author describes in Chapter 3:17:

“You have moved my soul far from peace: I have forgotten prosperity. ”

We need to take our pain to God, to move it to a place outside of our own soul. We say it as we feel it, as the author puts it in verse 18.

“And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.”

Hopeless, exhausted, and crying out to God, something happens! God helps the author to remember: to remember the things he knew, the facts about God.

It is an act of the mind, a willingness to look on the facts. It is in this process that his hope is restored. What are the facts about God that he remembers? Chapter 3:22-24 gives them to us. They are:

“Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed”

“His compassions fail not, they are new every morning:

Great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion.” says my soul.

“Therefore, I HOPE IN HIM!”

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him.”

Then in verse 29, he says that there may still be hope. He is beginning to see it differently.

In verses 31-33, he is still reminding himself about God.

“The Lord will not cast off forever”

“He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.”

“He does not afflict willingly.”

or as the margin says

“from the heart”

However, he is still wrestling. He still struggles with questions. He comments about his continual weeping before God. His breakthrough takes time before God in prayer. It is in the waiting. At this time, the enemy breaks in and the author’s life is in danger. He believes his life is over. Our spiritual enemy does the same. Like the dark angel he is, his presence brings the smell of sulfur and the feeling of death. Like this author, we again and continually call out to the name of God

“from the lowest pit.”

Then as this author states in verse 56;

“You have heard my voice.”

and in verse 57;

“You drew near on the day I called on You, and said

“DO NOT FEAR”

Then in verse 58;

“You have pleaded the case for my soul: you have redeemed my life.”

Though the struggle remains to the end, he is still remembering, still training himself on the facts about God and in chapter 5:19

“You O Lord, remain forever. Your throne from generation to generation”

With prayer and an affirmation in Chapter 5:21, he continues, although in a much better place emotionally than when he began.

Turn us back to you, O lord, and we will be restored..”

Troublesome times come to all of us. We have a God in heaven; our creator, who loves us and is there for us in our time of need. When we come to him, as the author of Lamentations did, He becomes a very present help in our trouble! No struggle is beyond the knowledge of his son Jesus, who in the very form of God, and the Spirit who dwells within his children wrestles through with us. Thank you, Father!

Grace and peace to you.

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