Honestly, I can’t see one step in front of me
Much less the end of the road
But still the questions come, why you don’t shield me from
Hardships and suffering I go through
Things I would rather say “no” to
But even then, I still know you and …
Your mercies are new every morning
Your faithfulness is great
Your love endures forever
Age to age the same
By Jeff Boesel
Suffering in our lives as Christ-followers is challenging to understand in many ways. We believe in a God who created everything and holds all things together; who sent his only Son to demonstrate love for us and die on a cross to redeem us to himself; who works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose; and who indwells us with his Holy Spirit, our teacher and source of spiritual power – and yet we are seemingly subject to the same weaknesses as any other human. I have no answers to why this is, but I do have a word of encouragement.
Jeremiah lived through a horrible time in Israel’s history. Another country had come and destroyed everything he knew. Thousands had died, and thousands more were taken into exile. He was left behind because he was of no use to the conquering country at his advanced age. His verbal and prayerful response is recorded for us in Lamentations. Read at your own risk. It is a gruesome account. None of us have faced anything like what happened then.
There is Hope
In the middle of all of this, we find some of the most encouraging words in scripture. In chapter 3, verses 18 – 20, Jeremiah says that everything he had hoped for from God is gone and that he remembers well the suffering he and his compatriots are experiencing. Then he says these unbelievable words, “(and) yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” (NIV)
Hope? How? Why?
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.
End in Praise
Can you believe what you are reading? In the middle of the worst possible suffering Jeremiah still hopes, still trusts, still believes.
I don’t know about you, but when I am suffering, I want to complain. I am not alone. Read the Psalms. David and other psalmists also complained, but like Jeremiah, they usually end their song with praise. That is where I want to be.
God is big enough to handle my lack of understanding and complaining. He is also worthy of praise no matter what happens in my little part of the world. Go back and read my lyric from the song, New Mercies. May God give us the grace needed to live each day as it comes for his glory.