God’s Renewable Resource

Hopeless. Despairing. Depressed. Despondent.

That covers the waterfront of Jeremiah’s emotions as he took in the aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem. It was all gone. The king deported, his sons executed. The city’s leadership slaughtered.

Women ravished, the wall dismantled, the Temple burned. Only some poor people were left to tend to the fields and vineyards which now were Nebuchadnezzar’s. All because of Israel’s mountain of sin.

It’s as if Jeremiah is left alone in the midst of the calamity to make some sense of it. The book of Lamentations records his hopelessness, despair, depression, and despondency. Just getting through the first chapter is difficult if you really engage the poetry. Other than possibly Job’s lament (Job 3) there is no place in Scripture which so clearly details complete emotional and physical devastation.

What better place for grace?
And that is where he finds it:

“I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
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.”
Lamentations 3:19–26

Two things stand out: first, the renewability of God’s mercy and the reason for it. It is renewable because it must be. As fallen creatures we have a never-ending need for forgiveness and mercy, and so God is a never-ending fountain of forgiveness and mercy.

Second, this fountain does not flow because we deserve it or even ask for it. It exists and cascades as it does only because God is God, and faithful to His promises. He can not lie, nor can He deny Himself. It is He who is our portion, and not possessions, positions, or persons.

This is why the answers to our losses, depression, and catastrophic failures do not lie in self-confidence, self-esteem, self-sufficiency, or self-improvement, but in bringing our devastation and defeat to God for restoration.

What you built and dreamed may have vanished overnight.
But come morning, a fresh supply of God’s mercies awaits,
and it’s another day to drink in His grace.

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief,
he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.”
Lamentations 3:31–33

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