Devotional Lamentations 3-22:24

Pastor Brian’s “Every So Often” Devotional

December 29, 2012

(Lamentations 3:22-24Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, writes a series of heartbroken cries to God over the coming destruction and captivity of Israel. In these lamentations, he bemoans the trials that will befall his people; he cries over the condition of their hearts that caused them to go astray and would bring God’s discipline upon their nation; and, as any normal, rational human would, he grieves his own situation. Not only was Jeremiah enduring the same difficulty as everyone else in Jerusalem, but there was the added affliction of the persecutions he suffered at the hands of wicked men. Added to all of this was the knowledge that, since it was God Who had called him to this ministry, the sorrow Jerry experienced must ultimately come from God’s hand! The line between what God allows or permits and what God evokes or causes is often razor thin. It is my opinion that every Christ follower must struggle through that dilemma: “I know that God allowed this difficulty, but did God actually cause it?” The follow-up question is no easier: “If God caused this to come into my life…why?!”

As a pastor, I tread very carefully on these questions. No one can know the mind of God unless the Lord specifically reveals it. How arrogant it would be to presume that God would give me answers to another’s suffering more than He would desire to give to them personally as they seek Him.

As for Jerry, he ultimately came to the place of expressing the thoughts quoted above (quoted from his book of Lamentations). There is no specific answer to the question of “Why?” There is only the calm assurance that the One who is in control of our life is merciful and compassionate. There is the realization that every single day we can open our eyes and count on Him, in His faithfulness, to pour out new mercy on sinners like us. There’s something to take advantage of in the New Year! We can be tempted to hope in government, or our 401k, or our job security, etc. (How are those working out for any of us?!) Or we can hope in the One who spans the universe with His hand, yet faithfully showers mercy and compassion upon us.