Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this…
Lamentations 3:21 NLT
I’m going to be really honest here: I struggle reading some of the accounts of hardships and loss that are in the Bible. I struggle with it the same way I struggle with reading world war history books and the same way I struggle with hearing on the news about yet another shooting. Hurting hurts. (Not my most profound statement, but true, nonetheless.) I struggled a lot with reading Jeremiah for the same reason. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for him to warn his neighbors and friends and family over and over again that their path – if unchanged – would lead to destruction AND THEN have to see that destruction play out.
To be really honest, I was a little bit relieved to finish reading Jeremiah.
And then I turned the page to the next book: Lamentations. I could immediately sense that someone, somewhere (*ahem* God!!!) might just be chuckling right about then. I was almost chuckling myself, only because I just didn’t know what to do with all this suffering and sorrow.
I read it anyway. And, much to my surprise, this five-chapter-long book has blown me away with it’s incredible depth of hope and light! As I read it, the experience was somewhat akin to hearing someone’s first-hand account of living through a time of war or a depression. There is sorrow. There is deep, personal loss. There is mourning. But, there is also a faith so strong and so bold that my heart raced as I read about it. Verse after verse lays out the depth of the devastation God’s people were experiencing as a result of sin when, smack dab in the middle of the book, Jeremiah says:
“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him!'” (Lamentations 3:21-24 NLT)
In the darkest of times, Jeremiah still dares to hope. After witnessing a totally preventable disaster happen right before his eyes, he still testifies to the unfailing love and mercies of God.
He has the capacity to do this because he knows that the LORD is his inheritance. We have this same capacity within us – this same dare to hope – because the LORD is our inheritance. He is our past, our present, and our future. He is our Dad and we are his children. No matter what, he loves us beyond our capacity to understand and will care for us with that unfailing love.
Today, each time I am tempted to be dragged down by struggles, I will remember Jeremiah’s words and fan a flame that DARES TO HOPE instead. Dare to hope with me!
Dear Lord, thank you for your powerful reminder that today’s battle is small compared to the victory that I’ve been promised. Today I will dare to hope in you instead of letting stress or struggle consume me. Thank you for sharing your Holy Spirit with me and letting me live out a bold, daring, hope-filled existence. Amen.
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