Monday, September 29, 2014

His Mercy in the midst of the storm...Lamentations 3:22-23

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."   Lamentations 3:22-23

Perhaps you've spent a morning reading through the book of Lamentations. Ok.  probably not but if you did you might feel rather depressed.   But why such despair?   The nameless author of lamentations is thought to be Jeremiah the Prophet who witnessed the invasion and destruction of Jerusalem.   Much of his Lament speaks of the broken city and its suffering people.

Its a rather sad book and we might think about Jobs words and suffering.  The major difference is Jeremiah knew that the suffering came as a result of their sin.

Yet in the midst of his Lament we find words of hope.  Hope because Jeremiah knows the character of God who disciplines us because of our sin but always stands faithfully beside us to bring us into times of blessings and mercy.

In Jeremiah 29:11-13 He writes to those who have been exiled into Babylon after the same defeat.   He says to them (speaking for the Lord) saying,  "I know the plans I have for you",  declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Than you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   I blogged about last month.

Jeremiah's words both in Lamentations 3 and in Jeremiah 29 are words that can give us comfort in the midst of our person pain, anguish of heart, and lamentation,    Perhaps you are like Job and have no responsibility for the cause of you affliction or you are like the Children of Israel who find themselves crying out because of the consequences of Sin.    Either way God's character has not changed.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ has bore the pain and the punishment for our sins on the cross yet there are natural consequences that we cannot avoid and God still disciplines us out of love.  But we must remember as we suffer the natural consequences that God is with us.  God loves us and God will restore us.   His mercies are new every morning.

Application:  In the middle of your struggles thank God for his presence with you and for the blessings even in the midst of the storm.  We may not see relief from all the anguish of life right now but we can mature in our faith. We can learn to trust.   We can feel the love of the Body of Christ surrounding us.  We can get stronger. We can seek the Lord with our whole heart.  We can develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord then we ever thought possible.  These are the blessing and the mercies of the Lord that may only come as we go through the pains of life.

Indeed the Lord understands our lamenting but God always holds out hope for His plans and His character is never changing. God is with us through the storm."Because of God's great love we will not be consumed."