Lamentations 3:21-23 - Hope Springs from God's Faithful Love and Compassion Every Morning.
Lamentations 3:21-23 - Hope Springs from God's Faithful Love and
Compassion Every Morning.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NKJV) This I recall to my mind, Therefore
I have hope. 22 Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great
is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (TNIV) 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.
CONTEXT with Commentary
Hope in the Midst of Affliction: Lamentations 3
This central chapter marks the turning point in Jeremiah's
experience of grief and prayer. As he looked at himself (vv. 1-18), he saw
an aged man on a winding path in the dark, being pursued by lions.
The more he considered his feelings, the more hopeless he felt.
Then he looked away from himself and by faith looked to the
Lord (vv. 19-39). Now he can say, "I have hope" (v. 21). Why? Because
of God's mercies, compassions, and faithfulness: "For He does not
afflict willingly" (v. 33; Hos. 11:8-9), and He "Will not cast off
forever" (v. 31). God does not enjoy having to chasten His people; but as
a loving Father, He must do it (Prov. 3:11-12).
Finally, Jeremiah looked to the people (vv. 40-66) and called
for a time of prayer and confession of sin. The "weeping prophet"
(vv. 48-49) pleaded with the people to lift their hearts and hands to
the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness and mercy.
What did God do for His suffering servant? "You drew near on
the day I called on You, and said, 'Do not fear!'" (v. 57). Wait
before the Lord (vv. 25-26), and He will speak to you from His Word.
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
Verses 18-36: Here at the heart of this book we find one of
the greatest confessions of faith found anywhere in the Bible.
Jeremiah had been dwelling on his sorrows and the sorrows of his people,
but then he lifted his eyes to the Lord--and this was the turning
point. In the midst of sorrow and ruin he remembered the mercy of the
Lord. "His compassions fail not." We have failed Him, but He cannot
fail us. "Great is Your faithfulness."
The faithfulness of God is a tremendous encouragement in days
when people's hearts are failing them for fear. If you build your
life on people or on the things of this world, you will have no hope
or security; but if you build on Christ, the Faithful One, you will
be safe forever. He is faithful to chasten (Ps. 119:75);
Lamentations itself teaches this lesson. He wants to bring us to the place of
repentance and confession (Lam. 3:39-41). He is faithful to forgive when we
do confess our sins (1 John 1:9). He is faithful to sympathize when
we have burdens and problems (Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16). We never need
fear that He is too busy to listen or too tired to help. He is
faithful to deliver when we cry out for help in temptation (1 Cor.
10:13). He is faithful to keep us in this life and unto life eternal (1
Tim. 1:15; 1 Thes. 5:23-24). We can commit our lives and souls into
the hands of the faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19) and know that He
will do all things well. . . .
In times of trouble we need to imitate Jeremiah who looked
away from himself to the Lord, and who waited on the Lord in patience
and faith (3:24-26). Too often we look at ourselves and our problems
and become so discouraged that we quit. Instead, we must "look away
unto Jesus" (Heb. 12:1-2) and let Him see us through. It is difficult
to wait on the Lord. Our fallen nature craves activity, and usually
what we do only makes matters worse. Jeremiah waited on the Lord,
trusted in His mercy, and depended on His faithfulness. He knew the
truth of Isa. 40:31 (NKJV), "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall
run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." [Wiersbe's
Verses 22-41: form the center and climax, not only of this poem,
but of the whole five chapters of Lamentations. Here is revealed the
sublime truth of the Lord's real intentions toward His afflicted people.
These verses answer in unequivocal positives the many negative
questions that may arise from a reading of the chapters that open and
close the book. Here Jehovah is revealed as a God who, though He
punishes, "doth not afflict willingly" (v. 33), and whose "compassions
fail not" (v. 22). [SDA Bible Commentary]
Verses 21-26: The theological high point of the book of
Lamentations. [NIV SB]
COMMENTARY APPLICATION with Emphasis on Verses 21-23.
One of the more poignant expressions of the grace of God found
anywhere in the Bible. The wonder to Jeremiah is not that some are lost,
but that any are saved. All would be consumed were it not for God's
mercies... "Mercy" and "compassion" alone stay the hand of God's righteous
and just indignation. Nor is this to be construed as an initial
occurrence only. Each morning His mercies are fresh, verifying God's great
faithfulness to us (v. 23). Man's only hope rests on this truth. [Believer's
The loving-kindnesses of God--life, health, food, shelter,
clothing, human affection and companionship, and countless other
blessings--are renewed every day of man's life with such constancy that one may
easily take them for granted and forget that each one is a gift, a
manifestation of the steadfast love of Him who is the Giver of every good and
perfect gift. [SDA Bible Commentary]
God's people have only one way to face life: confidently.
After all, He loves us, has saved us from eternal death, and is
committed to guiding us through every moment of life. God wants us to live
confidently--but too often we allow feelings of personal inadequacy and
unworthiness to derail our confidence.
The apostle Paul lived through horrendous
circumstances--rejected by his Jewish peers, stoned, abandoned for dead, ridiculed,
ignored, and often beaten and imprisoned for his devotion to Christ. But
Paul continued to maintain a confident hope, right up to the very
end. How did he manage this?
When the apostle did not think he could face another day, he
recalled one simple truth: "I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). He focused on his Lord, just as Jeremiah had:
"Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I hope in Him!'" (Lam. 3:23, 24).
The classic hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness expands on this
important idea. Next time you sing it, don't miss the wonder of it: God is
faithful and does not change (Heb. 13:8). In this one truth we find our
reason for hope and unwavering confidence. God's unchanging nature
teaches us that even when we feel unlovely, we remain beautiful to Him.
We can do nothing to change His love for us--it is unconditional and
flows freely from His throne of grace.
If God decided to change who He is, then every promise He has
made would be in jeopardy. He would become untrustworthy. But the
legacy of God is this: He loved us unconditionally yesterday, and He
loves us with the same love today and tomorrow.
Do you trust Him? Have you experienced a strong assurance that
comes from placing your faith in His unfailing love? Roll the burden
of your heart onto Him and you will discover that you too can sing,
"great is Thy faithfulness." [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re
vv. 23, 24]
My life had been going so well. I had become a Christian in
college and a missionary after that. I had married a pastor, and we
adopted two little girls. Then things began unraveling. My
pastor-husband had an affair and left me with a three-year-old and a
ninemonth-old daughter with special needs and a chronic illness that kept
getting worse. I couldn't make the rent in Chicago, so I didn't think
twice about taking a new job--a lectureship at the University of
Oklahoma. The salary would cover rent, basic needs, and tuition so I could
get my Ph.D. I loaded the girls into a U-Haul truck and made the
trip to the university campus, only to discover that the school had
canceled all lectureships. I had no job.
At that moment, Lamentations was the perfect fit as I joined
Jeremiah to rant and rave against the unfairness of life. But then I came
to 3:21. Dare I hope? Would his mercies really never cease?
With my U-Haul still loaded, the girls at the nearest day-care
center, and no job, I sat on the university's curb and remembered the
miracle of finding Christ, seeing my family come to Christ, adopting my
girls, the trees and oceans I'd sat by, knowing God was there. And I
knew--God was still there. So was compassion.
I ended up calling every college and school in the phone book
and actually piecing together enough teaching jobs to stay in
Oklahoma. And I wrote--book after book, drawing often on specific memories
of God's faithfulness.
Dandi Daley Mackall is the award-winning author of more than
four hundred books for children and adults, including Maggie's Story,
Love Rules, Eva Underground, Larger-Than-Life Lara, and the
best-selling teen series Winnie the Horse Gentler. [The One Year Bible Live
Verse Devotional re vv. 21-24]
At the age of eleven, I had a strong urge to be right by God.
There was no witness around me to teach me how to satisfy what I
craved, so I did my best to follow God. I soon found out that I could
not do it on my own, but the desire never left me. At eighteen, I
stumbled across a Christian magazine. As I looked through it, I felt
God's presence surround me. Nothing I was reading explained
salvation, but God reached out and touched my heart. He made everything
Having become a Christian without the help of anyone else, I
knew nothing about discipleship. I learned everything by trial and
error, which led to a compromised Christian life. I was a Bible
student, eager to grow in faith and knowledge, but I was single and ended
up making some bad choices and becoming pregnant. I suffered shame
and humiliation. I felt lonely and alone. But God used the situation
to draw me close. As I came to the end of myself, he answered all
my pleas at every point of despair and gave me fresh hope each
morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 became a great source of courage and
assurance. I was not alone!
God loves us enough to give us a second chance. His
faithfulness never ends!
Jane Woods is a former leader for YWAM (Youth With A Mission)
Discipleship Training School in Zambia. Born in Zambia, she now lives in
England. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional re vv. 22, 23]
While visiting Florida, my husband and I witnessed some
spectacular sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico. It was unusually chilly one
evening, so we shared a blanket, dug out a niche in the sand, and watched
as the sun slowly descended from the sky. I glanced over and saw a
father and his young son cuddling on the beach, also watching the
display. As the big ball of fire touched down on the horizon and fell
into the water, one could almost hear the sizzle. The little boy
looked into his daddy's face and reassured him, "Don't worry, Dad.
It'll be back tomorrow."
Tomorrow? During my twenty-five-year season of clinical
depression, "tomorrows" were only extensions of the pain that wreaked havoc
on my mind, my emotions, and my body. I was sure I was going crazy,
and at times I prayed for a "real, bona fide disease," one with
visible wounds, bandages, and a conclusive X-ray. Many times I cried
out, "Why me, Lord? Wasn't my childhood bad enough?" To sleep
forever, never having to face another tomorrow, sounded like a peaceful
solution to the war going on in my mind. But during it all, God heard my
cries and saw my tears. In his perfect timing, he lifted me out of the
pit of depression. He put before me life and death, and I chose
That young boy on the beach was more than prophetic. Every
morning our heavenly Father brings a fresh response to our needs and
sustains us, regardless of our plight. I don't dread tomorrow
anymore--because I know he is already there.
Gloria Plaisted, an author and conference speaker, facilitates
workshops and counsels on depression. She and her husband, Rick, are empty
nesters and live on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. [The One Year
Bible Live Verse Devotional re vv. 22, 23]
If God's compassions are "new every morning" (Lam. 3:23), you
have the right to claim them daily. Let each morning be for you the
dawn of a new day. Start over again, no matter how many times you
failed the day before. If God's mercies never fail, depend on them
during the day. He is faithful, and His faithfulness will not fail.
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
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