January 20 – Great is Thy Faithfulness

Lamentations 3: 19 – 26 NLT

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord.”

Lamentations – I looked it up in the dictionary. Here are some synonyms for it: expressing grief, complaining, moaning, wailing, mourning, sorrow. Does that sound how you feel in this lock-down, stay-at-home pandemic time? This book in the Bible reflects the feelings of the Old Testament Jews who were in exile from their land.

Here is some historical background to the Book of Lamentations. This information came from the introduction in The New Inductive Study Bible. “Lamentations is a book of wailing’s that are read annually by the Jews as a reminder of the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple. They serve as a reminder of an avoidable tragedy caused by sin – and of a God who judges, but keeps His covenant forever. These expressions of grief were written sometime between the destruction of Jerusalem and the return of the remnant after 70 years of captivity in Babylon. (likely during Daniel’s time: 574 – 538 BC)”

Although Lamentations is all about repentance for sin and ignoring God, I don’t think we’re wrong in looking at these verses from today’s perspective. Do I think the Coronavirus is God’s punishment on us? No, but I do think it’s one more piece of evidence of our fallen world. Sin, starting in the Garden of Eden, has warped God’s beautiful creation, and we continually suffer the consequences of that brokenness.

The first three verses do describe life today as we live in social isolation or lock-down. We do grieve the loss of interaction with family and friends, especially at holiday times like this past Christmas. Most of us will agree that this is an awful time we will never forget. It will definitely be included in the history books. Many of us are worrying about the health of those dear to us, and are also worrying about the financial hit we’re taking. How long before Canada recovers and life goes back to something we might call normal? In this scary time, we can remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.

We can depend on God’s love and mercy for each one of us – for you, for me. I love verse 23. “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning”. That is so true! Each morning as I wake up, I am so thankful for my health, my home, my ability to talk with friends and family over the Internet, the extra time I have for writing these devotions, the chats with neighbours while we stay 6 feet apart, time to get things done I’ve been putting off for ages – and the list goes on.

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning”. I want you to take a few moments right now and thank God for specific things you are thankful for. Remember to repeat that prayer of thanksgiving tonight as you climb into bed.

There is one more thing we can take away from these verses. “So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (v. 26) We need to be patient. We may be in social isolation for a long time yet. When I hear predictions on the news of how long it will take to get most people vaccinated, I shudder about the 8 months ahead. I need to stop all my worrying and comprehend that “the Lord is good to those who depend on him” (v. 25). Are you a worrywart? Take as many times as you need throughout your day to remind yourself of these truths. God is good to us and we can wait patiently for him.

One of my favourite hymns over my lifetime addresses this issue. Is God faithful?

Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chisholm in 1923

2 Replies to “January 20 – Great is Thy Faithfulness”

  1. God’s faithfulness is what keeps me going. Over the course of my life this hymn has been a reminder that, no matter what is happening, God is always beside me, taking care of me. Thank you,Audrey, for your words of encouragement during these difficult times. We have much to be thankful for.

Leave a Reply to Jodie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *