While the author of Lamentations remains nameless, strong evidence points to the prophet Jeremiah as the author. Regardless of who penned it, Lamentations pictures a man of God grieving the effects of sin in the world as Jerusalem falls. The people of this once great city experienced the judgment of the holy God, and the results were devastating. But at the heart of this book, at the center of this lament over the effects of sin in the world, we find a few verses devoted to hope in the Lord.
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;
Today’s world is full of situations that are lament-worthy. Just turn on the nightly news to hear terrible stories of mass shootings, human trafficking, war, poverty, natural disasters, corruption, crime and many other circumstances that would lead to feelings of despair – much like the author of Lamentations grieved over the fallen city.
As a family, we chose the verses in Lamentations as our focus for 2018 because it reminds us that in spite of our sin and disobedience and their consequences, a critical element of the lamenting process is hope.
What is the hope the author has that we can have? We have hope in Jesus – the object and source of our hope. Hope for the future, that we will be redeemed. Hope for the present, that we are not alone, but are loved and have purpose. Hope even for the past, that our failures are not greater than God’s power to transform. When we as believers speak of hope, we don’t mean a desire that may or may not be fulfilled. Our hope is certain because it rests on the finished work of Jesus.
John 3:16, one of the most popular Bible verses says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Quite simply, the message of John 3:16 is the most important one you'll ever hear. It's the message of hope found in Jesus Christ, God's only Son who was sent into the world to save us from our sins.
Why do we need saving? The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We've all been guilty of breaking God's law and our sin separates us from him. The world lacks hope. People need to know that Jesus came to bring hope, that he is our hope, and that our hope is alive.
Is the hope of Jesus real and alive in you?
Written by Carrie-Ann Jasper Yearty. She and her family generously are offering a $100,000 matching grant this summer for gifts to strengthen families through Buckner Families Pathways. Learn more at buckner.org/MatchingGrant.
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