Note: In my office, I have a big desktop calendar on which I write my daily events and other things I need to remember. On the right side, there’s a column for additional notes. This past month, I wrote a piece of Scripture on it and began writing down some observations on the Scripture in an attempt to get me thinking about God’s Word more often. This will hopefully be a monthly blog post examining what I’ve learned. January’s passage was Lamentations 3:21-24.
I finished up reading through the book of Jeremiah and continued right on to Lamentations and ran across Lamentations 3:21-24. I had read it before, but it struck me this time unlike it had before. So I made it my Desktop Calendar Meditation. As you’ll see, it’s all about the grace and love of God, and as that’s something that I need to grow in, it made sense for me to be thinking about it all month. Here’s the verses:
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will have hope in him.’
There is an intentional recalling to mind of truth.
It can be easy for me to forget grace, forget God’s love for me, forget that my only hope is Him. Circumstances, my emotions, my sin, those things can distract me from really believing in the grace and love of God. And the author of Lamentations has been experiencing things that have been distracting him from knowing that. But when he calls to mind the steadfast love of God and the never-endingness of His mercies, it gives him hope.
But he has to be intentional about remembering it. I should seek to do the same thing. I need to find ways to have daily reminders of God’s love for me. In prayer, I need to be thanking God for and meditating on His love and grace more so that I can be constantly refreshed. We don’t just eat one meal a week and then expect to be good the rest of the week. In the same way, we must constantly take in reminders of God’s love for us and the grace He’s shown us so that we don’t go hungry and start looking for joy/contentment/peace/hope elsewhere.
The reason we can have hope is that the Lord is our soul’s fulfillment.
In verse 24, the author says that the Lord is his “portion,” and therefore he hopes in Him. So often in life we put our hope in things that do not satisfy: people, food, sex, money, career. The only way our hope can be fully fulfilled is by being satisfied in who God is and what He has given us.
And I think that was an intentional thing. God set Eden up so Adam and Eve could be satisfied in all that He created, while also giving them a warning to not choose the disobedient route. But A & E took what became the road most traveled in human history: disrespect for God’s Word and intention. And the rest is literally history.
We can take from their story that following God’s way leads to the most fulfillment. And Psalm 16:11 backs that up – “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
God’s mercies being new every morning indicates two things.
First, the steadfastness of His love. God’s mercy is not based on some emotional whim or an obligatory duty. There is meaning and purpose behind it if there is a repetition of it every morning. It’s a truly unconditional love. If God’s love was emotional, I doubt it would be steadfast and never changing.
Second, the freshness of His love. We cannot outsin the love and grace of God. Just like the sun rises at the beginning of every day, God’s love rises every day anew. We can’t wear it out with our sin from the previous day. We get a fresh start at godliness.
Such a cool thing. Grace is laced throughout the Old Testament, and this is one of the best examples I’ve seen. These are verses I need to cling to more and more because it’s a reminder. It’s a reminder that I need to be intentionally recalling to my mind. And then fulfilling my soul with God’s love for me, not my love for Him.