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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.’ Lamentations 3:21 NAS

Lamentations chapter three describes Jeremiah’s despair, and how he conquered it. He opens with: ‘I am the man who has seen affliction…’ (Lamentations 3:1 NAS), and it intensifies as he lists all his troubles. The fact is, when our circumstances deteriorate, we can sound a lot like Jeremiah. At first he sounds like he’s blaming God for his afflictions. In prayer he recites his troubles and fears of being singled out as an object of public ridicule. No wonder he felt powerless and hopeless! (Lamentations 3:18) That kind of situation, handled badly, can initiate and intensify despair, depression and feed a negative outlook on life. But here’s the lesson to be learned: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.’ Jeremiah acknowledged God’s goodness and mercy: ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed… His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:22–23 NIV) He also acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty in his trouble: ‘For the Lord… though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies… Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well–being proceed?’ (Lamentations 3:31–38 NKJV) When you acknowledge the sovereignty of God in all things it gives your faith in Him a boost, no matter what! It doesn’t happen automatically; you have to deliberately refocus your thinking at the very time when you feel least like doing it. Notice: Jeremiah’s circumstances didn’t improve—his outlook did. He was reminded of the sovereign goodness and faithfulness of God—and his depression lifted: ‘“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.”’ (Lamentations 3:24 NAS)

SoulFood: 1 Kings 3:4–28, James 1:2–8

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

The Word for Today

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