In Lamentations chapter 3, the prophet Jeremiah anguishes over the painful challenges he and Israel are going through. The nation has been taken captive by the Babylonians, parts of the city of Jerusalem have been burned, the temple has been destroyed, and the city walls are broken down (read Jeremiah Ch. 52). Life has become very difficult for Jeremiah, from his perspective it seems like God has:
- led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light (vs 2)
- turned His hand against me time and time again throughout the day (vs 3)
- aged my flesh and my skin, and broken my bones (vs 4)
- surrounded me with bitterness and woe (vs 5)
- set me in dark places like the dead of long ago (vs 6)
- hedged me in so that I cannot get out (vs 7)
- appeared to ignore me so that when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer (vs 8)
- blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked (vs 9)
- torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate (vs 10)
- bent His bow And set me up as a target for the arrow (vs 12)
- Allowed me to become the ridicule of all my people — their taunting song all the day (vs 14)
- He has filled me with bitterness (vs 15)
A more careful reading of Lamentations chapter 3 would reveal more descriptives depicting the feelings of anguish that Jeremiah is sensing.
Yet in the midst of this pain and struggle that he and others are experiencing, Jeremiah has hope (vs 20,21) as he calls to remembrance:
- God’s mercies keep us from being consumed (vs 22).
- God’s compassion does not fail, it is freshly poured out every day (vs 22,23).
- God’s great faithfulness (vs 23).
- That God is the portion that fulfills his soul and brings hope (vs 24).
You may be feeling that your life is falling apart and that there is little hope, your circumstances may be overwhelming you. In the midst of your situations, if the prophet Jeremiah were to seek you out, find you, and talk directly to you he would say, “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD; let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven. (vs 40,41)” Don’t wallow in the pain and frustrations of your life, turn back to the Lord, who brings hope in all situations.