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 hope in him.”- Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV
This is an interesting book, Lamentations. Lamentation(noun) is the act of bewailing; audible expression of sorrow; wailing; moaning. Lamentations is also a book of the Old Testament attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, and taking its name from the nature of its contents. The Book of Lamentations is a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. This is interesting because this is the time where the Babylonians, the first great empire, was ravaging Judah. Three assaults, three times that captives were taken, and the third time was the total destruction of their cities. This was not a good time. Jeremiah was prophesying, and so where others. There were others who were telling the people that God would protect them, and they were going to be ok, but Jeremiah was not interested in saying what people wanted to hear, instead He was sharing what God was saying. Since the 2 were different, Jeremiah got thrown in prison as a traitor, possibly 2 times. (see Jeremiah 32) It was in these three attacks, and three times that captives were taken back to Babylon- that we read about Daniel and his three friends: Hanania, Mishael, and Azariah, who bore the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Leader, this to me, corresponds to where we are at in America today. We might not have been captured and taken out of “The Land”, but we are definitely living in a foreign land. With the election of 2020, it looks like Christians are captive in a strange land. What to do? Why did God not answer all the prayers of his people and allow for a different outcome in this election? I believe we need go to the author’s other book, that bears his name to find the answer: “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste. (Jeremiah 25:8-9, 11-12) We must remember, GOD IS GOOD! It was at this time, that God gave Jeremiah a word that many of you have heard and used to encourage others- but this is where God said it to the prophet: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) God is at work! What looks like a closed door to you could be God’s pathway to blessing. What appears to be a nightmare can become His dream for your life. And what may seem like the worst news you could possibly receive can actually be the point of a new beginning. This is because whatever God allows to touch your life is part of His plan for your future.
Conduit, everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. (1 Timothy 4:4). Such an important TRUTH to understand at this time of GIVING THANKS. It’s easy to think of God’s goodness, when everything seems to be going for us—a good job, a good relationship, health, a nice house and a new car, a good outcome in an election…. Life is good, rich, and full. But if we never learn to say “thank you” to the Lord, regardless of our circumstances, then we become a FAIR-WEATHER FOLLOWER. “Every good thing given, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17) Great Is Thy Faithfulness is a popular Christian hymn written by Thomas Chisholm (1866–1960). Notice the lyrics: Great is your faithfulness, O God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassion they fail not. As Thou has been Thou forever will be. Chorus. Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy great hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me. What is a “shadow of turning?” This is what James was talking about when he said “there is no variation or shifting shadow. When we are walking in the sunshine, we have a shadow. Every action we take is reflected by our shadow. We turn a little to the right or left, and our shadow also turns. When Chisholm says “there is no shadow of turning with Thee” he is pointing out God’s consistency. God is steadily walking toward the light, toward Truth, and He invites us to follow. In whatever crisis we face, we can count on God. He will lead. He will provide. He will see us through. 100% of the time. There is no shift—not even a slight one– in God’s faithfulness to us. In whatever crisis we face, we can count on God. He will lead. He will provide. He will see us through. 100% of the time. There is no shift—not even a slight one– in God’s faithfulness to us. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. No matter who you eat your Thanksgiving meal with, and no matter what is served- we must believe that God is our portion! For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7) John 14:27 and Romans 8:15 confirm this. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”