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June 26 | Lamentations 3:16-17


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION

God's Faithfulness in Times of Angst

by Pr. Dave Mann


There are times in life when everything is awful! The writings in the Bible – psalms, the prophets, and others – do not avoid such times. But the prayers of the saints, the prophets, and the heroes of the faith dig in and lay out laments before the Lord when life gets tough. Jeremiah, who wrote both the book that bears his name and Lamentations, is known as the weeping prophet. He prophesized that Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonians, and he lived through those horrific days. No one wanted to listen to his words. In fact, he was thrown into a dungeon and into a pit for being faithful to the word of the Lord.


Read the entirety of Lamentations 3 to get the full picture of what Jeremiah is going through. He even lays the origin of his angst at the feet of God himself. The prophet does not pawn off to the devil the responsibility for his difficulties. He knows his theology very well – that all of the life of the believer must ultimately pass through the hand of the Lord.



He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.


For those who trust in the Lord, we know that everything that comes our way is part of God’s will for us. Whether it is the perfect will of God or it is the permissive will of God, all of our life has passed by his gaze.


Notice in Lamentation 3 that there is a significant shift in the attitude of the prophet Jeremiah. After twenty verses of lament and agony, he expresses confidence that God’s faithfulness is everlasting – that God will show his mercy in due time.


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.


None of us is promised a rose garden for all of our life. If you have not yet experienced deep moments of sorrow, you will. If you are currently in times of pain and agony, you are not alone. The reason for our angst may be revealed to us in time, as it was to some of the prophets. But for others, the explanation may not come to our awareness until we meet the Lord face to face. In times of trial, we are in good company with Jeremiah, both in the pain and in the confidence that God’s goodness and faithfulness will win out in the end.


PRAYER

Heavenly Father, you are Lord of both the dark days and the sunny days. When we are in deep difficulties, we still come to you. With Jeremiah, we pour out our laments and we express our trust that you will never leave us or forsake us. In the name of the one who knew pain and suffering, Jesus our Lord, we pray, Amen.




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