In his “laments” Jeremiah writes, "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 well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me (Lam 3:18-20 NIV). Perhaps as you look back at 2015 you have similar thoughts as Jeremiah. You are afflicted, and sadly, you have wandered. This is accompanied by bitterness and the remembrance causes you to feel downcast. Many well meaning Christians try to say that we believers cannot be depressed or even downcast. They who make such claims have not read ALL the Bible. Jeremiah struggled as did Job, Gideon, Jonah, Isaiah, Elijah and others. Part of the joy of Christian faith is there is always hope. Not “hope so,” but genuine hope knowing that what God says He will do, He will do.
Admittedly if we quit reading the Lamentations at verse 20, we could remain in hopeless despair for a long time, but let me encourage you to read on.
Lam 3:21-26 NIV
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 (or mercies) 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 the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
I hope you see it my friend. Do we deserve to be consumed or destroyed? We do, but because of His great love the Lord provides something better. It is his mercy and it waits anew each and every day, so let me encourage you to not become lost in the past. Do not live your life in sorrow and regret. The Lord Himself tells us that we should “FORGET the past and strain toward that which is ahead.”(Phil. 3:13). Let me encourage you to heed what the Lord says, and rather than being crippled by memories of yesteryear, confess and forsake the shortcomings and the failures. It’s much better to bask in the sunlight of His love, forgiveness and mercy.
I invite you to come join us on Sunday in the fellowship of loving and caring people! God bless.
Happy New Year! Pastor Jim