No matter what ... God is faithful
(Read Lamentations 3:19-26.)
“Patience is a virtue” is a familiar cliché that may be easier said than done, especially during times of illness, uncertainty or suffering.
Life’s circumstances are unpredictable. There are good times and not so good times. For human beings, suffering is inevitable.
During those difficult and challenging moments, it is vital to remember that our circumstances are never superior to the promises of God. The promises of God ultimately prevail!
The author of Lamentations experienced unimaginable circumstances. Jerusalem had been conquered and collapsed. The people of Israel were carried into exile. Their rivals were taunting them and rejoicing. To add insult to injury, it felt as though God had left them alone without care or support.
But in the middle of this great distress, the prophet proclaims, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” The ability to wait for something without losing heart or losing hope is a valuable quality that fuels our faith in God.
There are times when we all have to realize that there are situations beyond our control. Those require that we wait patiently for God to aid, strengthen, and bring salvation to us.
Though the prophet expresses feelings of hopelessness over tragic circumstances, hope is renewed with the assurance that relief is on the way. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
It is worth noting that this verse is the inspiration for the classic hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” People have offered various “attributes of God” over the centuries, but His faithfulness is always the most key. God is faithful. We can stand on the promises of God.
In the readings of the church, this passage from Lamentations sometimes comes up in the autumn season. While seasons are changing and leaves and temperatures start falling, there is a beauty that opens our eyes to the majesty of God. Every morning that we open our eyes there is an opportunity to acknowledge the faithfulness of God.
When suffering and struggle seem to be a routine in our world, we can boldly claim the eternal faithfulness of God as victory over trials. Always remember that God’s faithfulness truly is great! The grace of God is certain. And “God’s mercies never come to an end.”
A prayer: Holy and Almighty God, lead us to know your faithfulness. Give us the strength to wait patiently during times of challenge, knowing that your mercy provides the protection and hope needed to overcome whatever troubles us. In Christ. Amen.