As humans, we suffer. There are generally two kinds of suffering, the first being the sort that we have no control over—sickness, accidents, death. The second is of our own doing—suffering from the consequences of our actions.
It is the latter sort that the people of Jerusalem were suffering when Jeremiah penned these words:
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
Lamentations 3:21-26 (NLT)
These words, from a book titled Lamentations no less, seem incongruent with what was going on at the time. Jerusalem had been warned over and over again to repent from their sins or the city would be destroyed and the people would either die, starve, or be taken captive. Yet over and over again, Israel refused to repent of their sins and went about their own thing anyway. We find Jeremiah here at the time when all the prophecies of destruction were coming to pass. How is it then, that he can still say that he dares to hope? When mothers are killing and eating their children? When princes look like walking corpses? Where is the hope in that?
It is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you will turn it into a blessing.
Amidst all of the pain and suffering brought on by sins of the people, Jeremiah remembered this:
Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.
Lamentations 3:32 (NLT)
Jesus once told a story that held similar principles. The prodigal son lived the way that he saw fit. He was forced to suffer and endure the consequences of his sin, but when he came home in repentance, love and compassion met him.
Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the Lord.
Lamentations 3:40 (NLT)
Even in the middle of our consequences, we can still dare to hope. Because God is still God and He never changes. He loved us before we sinned. He loved us while we sinned. And He still loves us when we repent from our sin.
So if you’re in the middle, dare to hope because the unfailing love of the Lord never ends!
Daily Bible reading: Lamentations 3-5, Hebrews 8