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Har Lee John• Timely Word •

Hope and Courage in Lamentation (Lam 3:17-24)

By 10 March 2023No Comments

The book of Lamentations is a book of tears, for it is the lament of prophet Jeremiah over the wickedness of his people and the impending judgement and needless destruction that would come as a consequence of their sin. The only uplifting and encouraging section seems to be in chapter 3:21-24, right in the middle of the book.

What stirs your heart enough to bring tears to your eyes? Is there something in your life or a beloved’s that stirs up grief, or some sin for which you weep?

Last year, as I followed the multi-season TV series “The Chosen” on the life of Jesus, my heart rejoiced that many who watched were convicted to return to the Lord and to the reading of His Word. Yet at the same time, I felt a sense of heaviness and grief over the prevalent spiritual state and increasing evil in the world, particularly in the U.S.A. I started to pray for revival there and continually felt the urge to pray that prayer. The recent news of the ongoing revival in Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky confirmed to me that it was God who had put that burden in my heart.

Jeremiah remained sensitive to sin because he remained sensitive to God. Like Jeremiah, let us commit ourselves to filling our days with godly thoughts and actions. Ask God for the courage to stand for truth and to live it out at all times; even when it can be costly to do so. Pray for God’s truth to triumph over evil. And let us do this in unison with others in the faith.

As God’s people, our lives are not determined by some cold, impersonal fate or destiny. Our  lives are in the hands of the living God who is good, who hears our cries, and acts for His people. Our praises and hopes are motivated by the knowledge of this truth which Jeremiah shared: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they  are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Like him, our hope is not based on chance or wishful thinking, but on the unwavering promises of God.

In this season of Lent, we are once again reminded of the compassion of our Lord. Jesus wept over those upon whom judgment was coming (Luke 19:41-42). Let it comfort us to know that when we weep for the fate of lost people, or our own failures or sins, our Lord Himself joins us in our grief.

“Loving Lord Jesus, thank you for giving up everything for me on the cross. Teach me to grieve. Search the depth of my heart. I receive again the most precious gift in the world: the forgiveness of my sins. I echo with Jeremiah, “The Lord is my portion… therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22–24)

By sister Har Lee John