The Gift of Lamentations

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When I look around at the pain and suffering in the world, trite Christian one liners just won’t cut it. “All in God’s timing.” “Pray harder.” “Just have faith.” “God has a plan for your life.” Etc.

These are well meaning statements, and I appreciate them. But there is a time to wail, weep, and mourn to God. In those moments, I turn to Scripture’s gift of Lamentations. And perhaps on the other side of lamenting there is joy and praise, but always a deeper sense of faith and trust in God, and his steadfast love and faithfulness.

May this bless any of you today walking through suffering, grief, pain, sin, or anything that life brings your way. Even in the midst of darkness and God-forsakenness, God is there. Grace and peace, brothers and sisters.

He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
    and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “Gone is my glory,
    and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.”

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
    is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
    and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,[b]
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to bear
    the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
    when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one’s mouth to the dust
    (there may yet be hope),
to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
    and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not
    reject forever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
    or grieve anyone.

-Lamentations 3:16-33

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