Great Is Your Faithfulness
3 I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.
He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
he has broken my bones;
he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.
He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
he has made my chains heavy;
though I call and cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer;
he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;
he has made my paths crooked.
He is a bear lying in wait for me,
a lion in hiding;
he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces;
he has made me desolate;
he bent his bow and set me
as a target for his arrow.
He drove into my kidneys
the arrows of his quiver;
I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,
the object of their taunts all day long.
He has filled me with bitterness;
he has sated me with wormwood.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD.”
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
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.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.
To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.
Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the LORD!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven:
“We have transgressed and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven.
“You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
killing without pity;
you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us scum and garbage
among the peoples.
“All our enemies
open their mouths against us;
panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction;
my eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
“My eyes will flow without ceasing,
until the LORD from heaven
looks down and sees;
my eyes cause me grief
at the fate of all the daughters of my city.
“I have been hunted like a bird
by those who were my enemies without cause;
they flung me alive into the pit
and cast stones on me;
water closed over my head;
I said, ‘I am lost.’
“I called on your name, O LORD,
from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, ‘Do not close
your ear to my cry for help!’
You came near when I called on you;
you said, ‘Do not fear!’
“You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
you have redeemed my life.
You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD;
judge my cause.
You have seen all their vengeance,
all their plots against me.
“You have heard their taunts, O LORD,
all their plots against me.
The lips and thoughts of my assailants
are against me all the day long.
Behold their sitting and their rising;
I am the object of their taunts.
“You will repay them, O LORD,
according to the work of their hands.
You will give them dullness of heart;
your curse will be on them.
You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under your heavens, O LORD.”
Lamentations 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Personal experience – our own understanding of matters in life come from this. What we have personally witnessed, been part of, participated and watched even from the sidelines is what forms our response and outlook based on our firsthand involvement.
As has been stated already about Jeremiah in previous Renovation commentaries as well as in his book, Jeremiah’s personal experiences with the world of which he lived was trumped by His own personal experience with God. It didn’t make it easier, but it gave perspective. A hope filled perspective even in the midst of the wreckage.
By this point in his ministry many things had already happened to Jeremiah as he confronted the sin of the nation. The various ways the men of the land had come against Jeremiah had marked his history as far as the world’s standard. Beaten, thrown into a cistern, shackled publicly, marginalized and ridiculed by leadership… the list goes on and on. But one thing could not be taken from him – his faith in God through his personal experience, is what drove him to hope. There is no doubt, Jeremiah struggled with all this – his book is filled with anguish and questions. But this did not deter him from following the Lord.
In the end, as the world Jeremiah knew crumbled, one thing he still was able to stand strong on – God was faithful. God loved His children. Jeremiah knew this because God Himself had met him in some of the darkest times of life. And so although he struggled at the moment, he would go back again and again to how God had provided and healed his own heart. God’s faithfulness was renewed each day.
The deeper our personal experience is with God, the more we can dig down into the foundation of Him rather than being swayed by our emotions. When hardships, difficulty, even results of our own waywardness of sin beat against us, if we have held a personal relationship with Jesus, there is an ability to hope beyond the current.
Trusting God’s faithfulness is a day by day mindset. It is a discipline that each morning we can start fresh, as His mercies and goodness are new, and surrender whatever situation is unfolding or for that matter unraveling before us.
Look to your past in how God has been faithful in His leading of you. Look to how He provided for you in the struggle of uncertainty. Consider how Jesus has met you in your own sinfulness and wasn’t horrified or backed away – but pressed into you with love that led you back. And look to the future, as how there is hope based on what your own personal experience of Him has been.
Renew your mind. Renew your hope. Renew your commitment. God has been faithful in your past and He will certainly be faithful in your future.
Lamentations 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The first 20 verses of Lamentations 3 recall the conditions that God has allowed to take place which has brought immense grief to Jeremiah’s heart. He is a great lion waiting to ambush. He has allowed mockery to take place personally with Jeremiah. He has even denied his prayers (Jer 11:14; Jer 14:11).
But in verse 21, the mood changes. What is it that changes the tone of his heart?
Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 22 The LORD’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, 23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.Lamentations 3:21-23 GNB
Hope returns when we reflect on the faithfulness of God. Today, this is truer than ever. No matter what we face in this life, we have the assurance of Christ’s work on the cross. Even when loved ones are taken by death, we can find peace knowing that God has been faithful to provide a way for them into His Kingdom. His love and mercy are endless.
The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.Lamentations 3:24 GNB
This reminds me of when Peter responds to Jesus, “where would we go… ?”
So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you—would you also like to leave?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.John 6:67-68 GNB
Jeremiah continues the chapter with solid advice for anyone currently under persecution or sorrow.
The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever. 32 He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong. 33 He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain.Lamentations 3:31-33 GNB
His love is sure and strong. Do you believe that today? Do you really trust that though He allows pain, his love is bigger and stronger than we could ever imagine? There is no wrong, no hurt, and no calamity that occurs outside of His Mighty Hand. Are you moving forward trusting in this promise today?