God’s compassion

9/10/2004 7:04 AM

S: “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. Lamentations 3:22-23

O: I began reading Lamentations this morning and thought, “I’m tired of this
kind of stuff. Whining, complaining and in general it read like there was
nothing wrong wit the people, but a whole lot of wondering about what was
going on with God. But then I read this verse and it struck me. Jeremiah,
the weeping prophet, is surely very understanding about why all these
calamities have happened to the people of Israel and Judah. He’s also very
clear on the mercy and grace of God. If it wasn’t for that, he says,
everyone would be consumed.

A couple of verses down from there, he says this:
“It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone
in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the
dust – there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would
strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off
by the LORD forever.so great is his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:27-31

Jeremiah is simply trying to say – take what God gives you, because he’s
trying to teach you his love and teach you his life and teach you to walk
with him.

A: Right now it’s feeling like a hard time, but not because of God’s
punishment, it’s just hard because of the amount of time we’re working and
the amount of struggles we’re having to get everything ready for the
meetings which begin tonight. But in this passage, I hear – no matter what
the struggles you face, lean on God – he is full of compassion and will hear
your words and will help you. In this passage I hear that whatever
struggles you face, that’s okay, because God is in charge and with these
things he’s refining your character and refining your walk with him.

P: Lord, I am not facing life like Jeremiah faced. I probably never will
face the things he’s had to face. But I know you’ve carried me through your
struggles. I know you’ve carried me through your trials. I know you’ve
carried me and held me close to you. I know you will carry me always.

I see Jeremiah expressing this same thing, Lord. You carried him, you
carried your people through the hard times, and you will carry me, my family
and my church. Thank you, Lord, for not consuming us, for not giving up on
us completely.

I am amazed, Lord, at the way you continue to go through the Bible and say
things like, “I give up on you forever.” “You are no longer my people and
never will be.” “I will destroy every one of you.” But no sooner do you
get those words out of your mouth and you say, “But a remnant will remain.
“A small number will remain.”

Lord, watch over us and keep us as part of the remnant. Keep us in
obedience to you. Lord, I pray for the Holy Spirit. I pray for the Holy
Spirit to guide us. I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us. I ask you to
come and fill me with your power and your will. Please, Lord, make us like
you. Please fill us with the Holy Spirit.