It’s hard to find peace these days. From small everyday stresses like car troubles to the bigger and scarier things like opening Facebook to receive news of another hate rally, the pressures and fears of this world can be overwhelming.
Lamentations is a book of mourning. The author — probably Jeremiah — watched as the Babylonian army laid siege to Jerusalem and then destroyed it. The city was razed. Even the temple — which non-Jews were not allowed to enter — had been looted and burned. The siege was incredibly long and brutal. Thousands starved, many even to death. With the city left in ruins, it seemed there was nothing left to do but weep. Jerusalem had been destroyed — burned down, even in its most holy places. Lamentations records the sorrow and horror and pain.
Lamentations, however, is not solely a book of mourning. Lamentations is also a book of hope. You see, after the author speaks of his grief, he brings a new message: a message of the Lord’s great love, compassion, and mercy.
Through all the grief and pain and mourning — through a desperate attempt to make sense of a world gone mad — the author of Lamentations arrives at this conclusion: we can still audaciously dare to hope because of the Lord’s great love. Even in this stressful and scary world, we will not be consumed. Our Lord’s compassions never fail — as Lamentations tells us, they are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.
Lord, let me remember and trust in your faithfulness. As I dare to hope — audacious in the eyes of the world — let others see my faith and desire to know the source of the hope I display. Amen.
Go Deeper — Write out a list of the ways that the Lord has been faithful to you in the past. Every time you need a little hope, pull it out and look at it, reminding yourself that you will not be consumed.
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Photo Credit: Rob Bye