Pastor Ruth Denboer
What an interesting combination of scripture this week. We start with Jeremiah reminding the Israelite people to obey God and stay where God had put them … even though it meant they were in exile and it was not pleasant. He reminds them it was their own sin that put them there. Then we jump into Lamentations … which is exactly that … a book of Jeremiah’s laments (cries) as he witnesses the spiritual death and physical destruction of the Holy city of Jerusalem.
It has been said that no person pleaded with a people more, calling for a national conversion than Jeremiah did. And that no one besides Jesus was treated with as much contempt as he was. Yet he continued to believe.
It is very difficult watching people we love suffer for any reason. But of course we know that suffering touches all of us at some point. It is particularly difficult watching children suffer. It is easy to wonder, “Where is God?” But we must remember this, in a world that is plagued with evil, sometimes even the innocent suffer.
I found these verses smack in the middle of the book of Lamentations to be so inspiring.
20I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
21Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22The faithful love of the lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
23Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24I say to myself, “The lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
We must not forget where our help comes from. It is easy to push away from God when trouble comes, but the end of the readings this week remind us that this is exactly the time we need to run to God with persistence. This is when we need to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness. The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. I will place my hope in Him!
No doubt there are times we need to talk ourselves back to believing this, but as we read in Luke 11: 9“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
DON’T GIVE UP when the going gets tough! Instead … go to God!