Lamentations – Revealing Our Hope

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of The Lamentations of Jeremiah contains many of the reasons why Jeremiah and Israel would have cause to lament. Zion, the Holy City of David, was destroyed and the people were taken into captivity.  This can be traced back to their rejection of God’s Word and His guidance which took Israel out of God’s promised rest.

God did not forsake His people, rather they by their actions and disbelief were turning their backs on God’s Word and they walked away from the guidance of His prophets and became encased in unrest as their hope in the coming Savior dissipated from their hearts.

When reading Lamentations, we find a sad and lowly state of the chosen people of God.  We find them engulfed with loneliness, having to bear the suffering that bondage begets, weakened with heart-wrenching disappointments, and living in their own shame for turning their backs from the true blessings that come from God.

And still, even in the Book of Lamentations there is a ray of hope, a beacon of divine light shining through their days of great darkness with a promise of continued hope if and when they would (as a nation) try to again turn their ways back to God’s Word. God would give them hope, which grows in the believing heart from anticipating the Savior’s day of redemption.

Lamentations 3:22-26; 57-58:
-22:  It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
-23:  They {God’s mercies} are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
-24:  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
-25:  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
-26:  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
-57:  Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.
-58:  O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul {knowing my heart}; thou hast redeemed my life.

Hope is manifested in the lives of God’s people when Christ is acknowledged to be our genuine entrance into the promises, mercies, and graces of God.

God is always faithful to His Word, ever renewing His daily mercies. Jeremiah said “Great is thy faithfulness” because he knew that God never left him without a lifeline of hope, and that hope is “Jesus Christ which is our hope” (I Timothy 1:1), and he leads humanity to God.

James 4:8a – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you . . .

In Acts 17:28 we read “in him {God} we live, and move, and have our being;” because our God is everywhere present. When we draw nigh to God with our believing actions we will begin to realize that God never left us alone, rather we are drawing near Him by our believing.  James 4:8 literally means that when we decide to draw nigh to God we will find Him to be as close as our very own breath.

When we believe in Jesus Christ who is the way to the Father, then we will clearly recognize our God’s presence.  Jesus said “I shall shew you plainly of the Father” (John 16:25), and the more we believe in Jesus Christ who is the way, he continues giving us divine hope and inner spiritual rest “for we which have believed {on Christ} do enter into {his} rest” (Hebrews 4:3).

Matthew 11:28-30:
-28:  Come unto me {Jesus}, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29:  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly {humble} in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30:  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The word “light” is an interesting word; it is an adverb reflecting on the light burden that we have with Jesus, and this relieves us of our earthly burdens that often weigh heavy on our shoulders. The word “light” also implies God’s spiritual light which is uplifting to our souls and this “yoke is easy” to bear.

Jesus enlightens the heart with inner assurance that we may have continued rest in hope because we have believed on the redeeming work of him who gave his life for us, and he reveals to our hearts the Father in true spiritual light.