Jan 19 2:11 PM
Jan 19 2:11 PM
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Lamentations 3:21-24; Jeremiah 17:7-8
Welcome back to Life Lifters! Yesterday we were talking about the chaos and the turmoil that's been happening in our country and around the world. So let me ask you a question... are you getting tired of this? Are you getting weary? Are you beginning to lose hope with the constant barrage of bad news that we face? Well, if the answer is yes, you are not alone. A lot of people are feeling the same way. Even I have gotten tired of this new way of living. But we have to carry on and we have to find hope.
In the Bible there is an Old Testament prophet named Jeremiah. His nickname was the 'weeping prophet' because Jeremiah was living in the city of Jerusalem in a time when God was about to do something to the nation of Israel because of their their poor behavior and sinful ways. God was about to have the nation of Babylon attack Jerusalem and take the people of Jerusalem into captivity and exile back in Babylon and destroy the city of Jerusalem. God was speaking to Jeremiah, telling him to have the people repent and turn their ways back to God. It was not a popular message. Jeremiah caught a lot of flack from people for this. He was afflicted, abused and persecuted.
In all of this, we see Jeremiah write a book called Lamentations. If you think about the word 'lament', it means sorrows. So this is a book that God gave us, called sorrows. A book of sorrows. God understands that we are going through a period of sorrows ourselves right now. In Lamentations 3:18, Jeremiah says this: "So I say, my splendor is gone, and all that I had hoped from the Lord, I remember my affliction, and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall, I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this, I call to mind, and therefore, I have hope. 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. I say to myself, the Lord is my portion. Therefore, I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to those who seek Him."
We see from Jeremiah, even through all his problems and afflictions, that he recognizes it's a bitter time and that he's wandered from God. He knows he should be close to God, but he's wandered from Him. When we wander from God, that's when we lose our perspective. That's when we begin to lose hope. Jeremiah tells us it's like bitterness. It's like gall, the bile that our liver produces—doesn't that just sound disgusting?
Maybe you're feeling the same way today. Jeremiah goes on to say that even though his soul is downcast and even though he's sorrowful, he calls to mind the Lord and the hope that he has in the Him. Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed. We are not going to be destroyed by this. God is going to see us through this and He's going to preserve us. His mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness God! That's where we get the the great hymn from, "Great is Thy Faithfulness", right from this passage right here. I want to encourage you today to put your hope in God. Put your hope in Him and seek your hope through God alone.
As we wrap up here today, I want to flip back to a passage in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 17, where it says this: "but Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree that is planted by the waters, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit."
We are in a year of drought in many ways, so I want to encourage you to send out your roots deeper into God. Draw closer to God through all of this. Don't back off. Don't retreat. Instead, draw closer to God through all of this because he is the one that is going to provide the hope and refreshment, just like the tree gets its refreshment from the river. We may be in a year of drought like Jeremiah was, but I love that last part of the verse about the tree that puts its hope God. It will never fail to bear fruit—referring to the fruit that we spoke about yesterday from Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit.
So I want to encourage you today: seek God, put your hope in Him and He will be faithful. Go ahead and share this devotional with your family or friends if it was encouraging for you today. We'll see you tomorrow.