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: 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]
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
nine-month-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]
God is utterly trustworthy in all He says and does, and this
is the rock-bottom reality on which everything in the universe
depends. In an age when so much unfaithfulness abounds, how good it is to
realize that we have One who will never let us down, never have to
apologize for failing us, and never go back on His Word.
Am I speaking to someone who has just discovered
unfaithfulness in a marriage partner, or experienced the break-up of a
relationship because a person you trusted did not keep their word? It's a sad
moment when we get a revelation of the inconsistency of the human
heart. But we need to look into our own hearts also, for none of us can
claim complete immunity to the sin of unfaithfulness. We may not have
broken a contract or violated the marriage covenant, but we have been
unfaithful to Christ in other ways--to the light and privileges that God has
entrusted to us, perhaps.
How refreshing it is, then, to read today's text and focus
our gaze on the One who is faithful at all times and in all things.
We may let Him down, but He will never let us down.
A chorus I learned as a young Christian comes back to me when
I am tempted to doubt the faithfulness of God:
He cannot fail for He is God,
He cannot fail, He pledged His Word,
He cannot fail, He'll see you through,
He cannot fail, He'll answer you.
Gracious and loving God, what inspiration it brings to my
soul to realize that of all the things You can do, the one thing You
can't do is fail. May the reality of this be the pavement on which I
tread this day and every day. In Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With
Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Psa. 89:1]
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]
Put your hope in My unfailing Love. You live in a world where
failure abounds - in governments and businesses, schools and churches,
friends, family, and you. Instantaneous worldwide communication makes the
failures all the more evident, all the more heart-wrenching. So the idea
of unfailing Love is radical; there is no adequate model for it in
this world. Clearly, such Love can be found only in Me - in the very
essence of who I am.
Even the most devoted parent, friend, or lover will let you
down sometimes, but I am the eternal Lover who will never fail you.
This is possible because I am infinite, perfect God. Yet I became a
Man - with human understanding and empathy. In fact, My compassions
never fail. So find hope in Me and in My amazing provision for
believers - salvation and righteousness that will never fail. This hope
strengthens you and pleases Me. I delight in those who put their hope in My
unfailing Love. (Psa. 147:11; Lam. 3:22; 1Jo. 4:16; Isa. 51:6) [Jesus
Today by Sarah Young]
I love you with an everlasting Love, which flows out from the
depths of eternity. Before you were born, I knew you. Ponder the
awesome mystery of a Love that encompasses you from before birth to
beyond the grave.
Modern man has lost the perspective of eternity. To distract
himself from the gaping jaws of death, he engages in ceaseless activity
and amusement. The practice of being still in My Presence is almost
a lost art, yet it is this very stillness that enables you to
experience My eternal Love. You need the certainty of My loving Presence in
order to weather the storms of life. During times of severe testing,
even the best theology can fail you if it isn't accompanied by
experiential knowledge of Me. The ultimate protection against sinking during
life's storms is devoting time to develop your friendship with Me.
(Jer. 31:3; Lam. 3:22-26) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
As you look into the day that stretches out before you, you
see many choice-points along the way. The myriad possibilities these
choices present can confuse you. Draw your mind back to the threshold of
this day, where I stand beside you, lovingly preparing you for what
You must make your choices one at a time, since each is
contingent upon the decision that precedes it. Instead of trying to create
a mental map of your path through this day, focus on My loving
Presence with you. I will equip you as you go, so that you can handle
whatever comes your way. Trust Me to supply what you need when you need
it. (Lam. 3:22-26; Psa. 34:8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Though I bring grief, I will show compassion. So do not
despair when hard times come your way, and do not try to escape them
prematurely. Timing is My prerogative! There is a time for everything, and a
season for every activity under heaven. Grief is a season, and I use it
for your good.
Unlike the four seasons of the year, the seasons of your life
are not orderly or predictable. When you are grieving, you may feel
as if sorrow will accompany you the rest of your days. But remember
that I have promised to show compassion. So great is My unfailing
Love for you.
When you are suffering, search for signs of My merciful
Presence. Even during your darkest days, streaks of Light break through
the storm clouds - providing hope and comfort. My unfailing Love
shines upon you always. Look up to Me and see My Face shining down upon
you. I never run out of compassions. They are new every morning.
(Lam. 3:32; Ecc. 3:1; Num. 6:25; Lam. 3:22-24) [Jesus Today by Sarah
SPECIAL MUSIC VIDEO
Beauty for Ashes by Crystal Lewis:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS
Revelation Today Series by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series by Pastor Ron Clouzet: