Lamentations 3:21-26 talks about hope, keeping hope, through all things.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
Therefore I will wait for Him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
My faith is strong, and yet I am not so good at the waiting patiently thing. Sometimes things can seem so bleak, that we forget that we always have hope. Sometimes we react so quickly that we forget that God works in His own time. The Lord loves us, and His mercies are new everyday, that means that we start anew everyday as well. The Lord is on our side, but His will may take time to come to pass, but even in bad times, He is working, using all things, even the bad, for His good. It is so easy to lose sight of that, when we are in the trenches of this world.
When the world seems to be falling apart, and we know that things are going to get worse, and we can’t imagine a way out or through, we forget that God is in control, that He does and will use the bad for his purpose, that sometimes we must stand in the furnace, sometimes we must wait in the lion’s den, sometimes we must wander lost. Joseph was sold into slavery by his older brothers, taken away from his father and homeland, thrown into jail, and still he had faith, still he believed in the goodness of God, and then he was lifted up, put in a place of power and eventually saved not just the Egyptians, but his own people, his own family, the very brothers who had sold him in the first place. Yet, when we are faced with hardship, we forget or lose sight, or can’t imagine how God could possibly use this circumstance for His good, His will. Is our faith so small, or weak, that we can doubt Him. God is not limited by our imaginations, He can see things we cannot see, He can do things we cannot do, and He will do what must be done, in His time, not in our own. Yes, it is frustrating to be so human, but the trials we must face are our fires, the dangers and fears are our lions. We need to have our faith in ourselves shaken, so that we will place our faith in God. God is faithful, He has not forgotten us, He has not turned His back on us, He is always working, everyday, in so many ways to save us, when times are darkest we need to not lose sight of that truth.
We have a choice to make, every day, whether the world we live in is calm or in turmoil, will we hold on to hope, or will we let go? Will we keep our eyes on the Lord, or will we lose sight of Him and look to one another? If we want to make it through, then we need to be as faithful to the Lord as He is to us.
Please keep me strong, keep me faithful, keep me mindful of You. Remind me, Lord, that my time is not Your time, that my will is not Your will, and while my will can be wrong, Your will is perfect. Remind me, Lord, that we are all Your children, even the ones I don’t agree with, and to remember that I don’t see others the way You see them. I can’t, and I shouldn’t judge, even when I am convinced that I am right. Please help Your people to return to You, every morning, every afternoon, every evening. Please lead us to pray to You, to meditate on Your word, to seek first Your will in all we do. In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Loving Savior –