Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases: his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant! Lamentations 3. 21-23
Have you ever felt beaten? Lost hope? Depressed? That is what Jeremiah was experiencing in the first part of this chapter. Judah had sinned against God and was not willing to repent. So God poured his wrath out on Judah and allows her to be taken into captivity by a pagan nation that does not follow God. Reading the first twenty verses of this chapter is enough to cause despair for anyone. None of us are worthy in and of ourselves of God’s grace and his goodness. Sometimes we feel that the Lord has turned away from us and is no longer present in our lives. At times like these, we need to examine our lives and see if there is sin there that we are arrogantly holding on to. When we recognize it, we need to repent of the sin and let it go. Drop it like a hot potato! Now, we have a choice. We can hold onto the sin and be separated from God, like Judah. Or we can repent, remembering the unceasing kindness of God. But we have to remember. We have to call it to mind. We can only wallow in our unstable state for so long. God is loyal! He is compassionate! He does not want anyone to perish. It is consoling, is it not, when we read these verses that talk about God’s loyalty, compassion and faithfulness? They never cease, never end, and are abundant! But sometimes I have to call it to mind because the enemy does not want me to rise or be renewed. He wants me to stay down. May that never happen!