“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.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)
I never saw the colon before!
Positioned on the back end of the opening phrase of this familiar Scripture, the colon signifies that it is about to introduce a list of reasons why human beings can access God’s hope regardless of the calamities assaulting them or the irritations accosting every millimeter of their nervous system.
In the verses leading up to this grand declaration of hope, the prophet Jeremiah described in agonizing detail his grief over the fall of Jerusalem as if he was writing a eulogy for the death of his nation. Hardly anything cheery or upbeat appears in the entire book until Jeremiah focused his attention on this one extraordinary fact: he could remember and give his attention to the flawless, endlessly perfect character of God.
What gave Jeremiah pause, and what he extended down to us as well, was the possibility of hope precisely at the point when our “soul is bowed down within” (verse 20). How does that work? For one thing, God’s love for us never stops, never runs out, never dries up or withers away no matter what challenge confronts us. God’s love for us is fixed, firm in its purpose, established, unwavering, resolute. God’s love is ours for all eternity.
This hope birthed from the depths of his love reinforces that nothing he allows is purposeless, that God alone is supremely in charge of the end results, that fear does not need to be a determining factor in our lives.
Alongside this love, we experience his inexhaustible mercies, too. His kindness, compassion, and favor simply never end. Each day, before our eyelids flicker open, his merciful provisions for us are poured out in unlimited measure. We can simply never extinguish the mercy available to us from his gracious hands. It’s as if each morning brings with it a brand-new shipment of God’s tender love and mercy specifically designed for us.
As we consider, internalize and incorporate this truth into our lives, our worship will be affected. Our awe of God, our praise and thanksgiving and adoration for his all-encompassing love and mercy will propel us to deeper worship of him. In rearranging our thoughts, something in us will change. As we make his faithfulness front and center in our minds, we will wait with confident expectation that God will envelop us and cause his measure of peace, strength, courage, perseverance, and acceptance to soothe our harassed souls.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.”
Elizabeth A Mitchell
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