by John Michalak
My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is because of the LORD’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn’t fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
These verses are often quoted for those who need comfort in grief or suffering. They’re hopeful words. They attest to a God who will not let us down. They assure us that tomorrow can be a better day.
This is all true. But, Lamentations is mainly about grieving the destruction of Jerusalem as a consequence of turning away from God. And so, the hope here in Lamentations 3 should be understood in that context.
We sometimes want to move quickly through grief or suffering and move onto hope and joy. This is understandable. No one likes to suffer. But, Lamentations reveals the importance of grief. Grief has a purpose. It needs time to do its work.
Our reliance on God’s grace is most honestly pursued through a heart of true repentance. If we don’t truly grieve the consequences of turning away from Him, how can we genuinely surrender ourselves to Him and benefit from His great faithfulness?
Only God can turn your grief into hope. But you need to give grief time to do its work.
Pray: Lord, give me the strength to remain in my grief, to genuinely repentant, and to enjoy the hope of Your saving grace.