Do you ever just get so depressed that even reading from Lamentations brings you comfort? I know I have. Does it ever seem like God has forgotten you? Sometimes I feel that way. After waiting for over 30 years for God to answer my prayers and after waiting for well over 20 years for Him to fulfill some personal promises that He has made me I struggle sometimes to see His Goodness.
When those times come I love to draw comfort from the Psalms and even at times from Lamentations. God wants us to come to Him in prayer and just pour ourselves out to Him, it’s not that He doesn’t already know our pain but that He wants us to come to Him with our troubles as much as our rejoicing.
I was talking the other day with a couple of friends over lunch about musicians and how it seems that the best music and most recognized art comes from artists who have gone through some sort of struggle or pain in their lives.
As I sit here writing this I can’t help but think that I’m not an orator or writer but through my pain and struggles the Holy Spirit has inspired these devotions. I was thinking about this in preparation and it left a question in my mind. What if God allows us to have times of struggle and pain as divine inspiration to make our lives and what comes from them more beautiful in the end?
As I read through the Psalms I have to think about the hardships that David went through before becoming king and then even during his time on the throne. It makes me ask the question, would we have ended up with a book of Psalms had David’s life been a fairy tale?
Here are some verses to draw hope from.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
Here’s the good news. Even in Lamentations (expressions of grief and despair) we can draw hope from the divinely inspired words…
“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.”
Lord Jesus, we cry out to You in our despair, our pain, our suffering, our torment, and in our loneliness. It is comforting to know that the God who created us also came to this earth and experienced all that we are going through. Please Lord, open our hearts and show us that You are with us and that You will never let us go. Help us to see Your face and bathe us in the warmth of Your steadfast love. As the scripture says, Your mercies endure forever and are new every morning. We ask Your will for our lives and cry out to see Your goodness and for You to turn our mourning into dancing. We ask these things of You Jesus out of our love and devotion for You. AMEN!