God in the Hardest of Times

Lamentations 3

When you read Lamentations 1-3, you see Jeremiah’s lament over the horrible conditions of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, and the grief, torment, and extreme suffering that followed. Chapter 3 expresses Jeremiah’s personal grief about his suffering, pain, and discouragement, and then the entire experience turns with a simple 3-letter word, “BUT”.

It was the hardest of times for Jeremiah; his experience was summed up in the descriptive words he uses—-

1. Affliction – vss. 1, 19
2. Darkness – vss. 2, 6
3. A sense of God being against him – vs. 3
4. Sickness – vs. 4
5. Bitterness (this may mean bitterness of soul, as in the deepest grief and not necessarily bitterness against God) – vs. 5
5. Tribulation- vs. 5
6. Trapped in the circumstances – vs. 7
7. Heavy burdens – vs. 7
8. Prayer not being answered – vs. 8
9. God seemingly opposing him in all his ways- vs. 9
10. God seemingly to be after him like a bear or a lion- vs. 10
11. God seemingly making him a target for His arrows- vs. 12
12. Being a laughingstock of other people- vs. 14
13. All peace and happiness fully gone- vs. 17
18. All endurance and hope fully gone- vs. 18
19. Fully defeated by it all- vs. 20

Jeremiah was genuinely under it all and felt the depths of suffering, both physically and emotionally.

Then comes the “BUT”. One thing begins to bring him out–vs. 21- “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” What did he call to mind? A few great realities that were over all the circumstances.

1. The steadfast love of God never ceases. – vs 22
2. His mercies never end. – vs. 22
3. His mercies are new every morning. – vs. 23
4. Great is His faithfulness. – vs. 23
5. The Lord is our portion. – vs. 24
6. We are to still hope in Him. vs. 24
7. He is good to those who wait for Him. – vs. 25
8. He is good to the soul that yet seeks Him. – vs. 25
9. He has not cast us off, even though it seems like it. – vs. 31
10. He is still compassionate according to his steadfast love. – vs. 32

If this is all true, then let us do as Jeremiah did because God is the great unchanging reality through the hardest of times—

1. Let us return afresh to the Lord. – vs. 40
2. Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven. – vs. 41

– Mack Tomlinson

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