“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness oh Lord, great is Thy faithfulness.”
Most church goers would be familiar with this stanza in a classic praise song. It gives us encouragement and reminds us to hold on to God’s steadfast love every day.
Few may know that the text comes from the book of Lamentations 3:22-23, a book in the Bible and full of cries of sorrow and pain. The book documents the national disaster in 586 BC, during which the Israelites were exiled. The Babylonians invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and captured the people. It was a very dark time.
Yet, the author Jeremiah wrote a very artistic poem which described his deep sorrows as he witnessed his city being destroyed and his people being taken away. In his poetry, right in the middle of the book of Lamentations, lies the crux of his message. In the midst of darkness and intense pain, Jeremiah affirmed that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and His mercies never come to an end.”
The book of Lamentations tells us that in the midst of overwhelming sorrow and pain (even when it is due to the consequence of our unfaithfulness and sin), there is room for us to express that sorrow. The important thing is that we turn to God and cry out to Him. He doesn’t look down on our suffering, guilt and pain.
But our actions do not end there. In the darkness, we need to constantly remind ourselves of God’s character and His promises that never change – He is God of love and mercy. He is faithful even when we are not. He is there with us in the darkness even when we don’t feel Him. He is always ready for us to turn to Him and hold on to Him.
In times of our lamentations, let us turn to God and praise Him for His mercies and His faithfulness.