The writer of the book of Lamentations is extremely distraught. Horrible things were happening to the people of Israel and to this man in particular.
The writer’s name is Jeremiah. He is deeply saddened that, at this time, Israel is under siege, the beauty of the country and of its capital city, Jerusalem have been marred by attacks, poverty and a whole host of calamities.
Jeremiah understands the reason for all of this that has happened. It is all because the people of God have strayed from following him. They have sinned against God and because of this, things go terribly wrong for them. Even though Jeremiah is a devout God follower, he is also going through some bad times because he is a part of the group that is being disciplined by God.
Jeremiah is suffering collateral damage as a consequence of Israel’s disobedience. Although it makes him sad, he gets it. He knows that all of this is temporary and that it has to happen. Humanly speaking he is like all of us. He looks at the situation he is going through and is downcast.
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Lamentations 3:19-20
Jeremiah admits that when he looks at his current situation, it sucks. It’s not fun. It’s actually terrible. In a similar fashion, when you go through tough times, it is normal for you to feel distraught and downcast. You may feel that a dark cloud is hanging over your head, and it is. We learn from Jeremiah that, from a human point of view, this is normal. It’s OK to feel bad when bad things happen to you but if you focus on the situation you tend to have the wrong perspective. You end up focusing on the present and not the future. You focus on your problem and not on God’s solution.
The right perspective is to look, not at your current situation, although it is bad, but on God and His grace. Jeremiah has his eyes firmly planted on God’s love and kindness. He knows that all of this is temporary in God’s time and so he calls to mind God’s love and compassion and this is what gives him hope.
21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:21-24
When you are going through a difficult time, you need to call to mind God’s love and compassion. You need to have His promises firmly impeded in your soul as you walk through this life so that when bad things happen, you can look to God and know that this is temporary. You have to have the right perspective.
God’s love and compassion are renewed for you every morning. He doesn’t look at you and say “you screwed up and so I want nothing to do with you.” On the contrary. God’s desire is for a deep, intimate relationship with you. All of the trouble you are going through is temporary. All you have to do is wait for him. God’s time is not our time and whatever you are going through will pass, one way or another.
Jeremiah says to himself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” You need to preach to yourself this fact so that when times of trouble come your way, you will have the right perspective. This will pass in God’s time, not yours. You need to have the right perspective.