Sahara oasis licensed under Creative CommonsLamentations, in my opinion, is the saddest, most depressing book in the Bible. It is believed to have been written by the prophet Jeremiah, who gave an eyewitness account of the aftermath of the death, violence, destruction, and suffering that took place when Babylonian forces destroyed Jerusalem. Throughout it’s verses, Jeremiah laments over how the Lord’s judgments were carried out and expresses sorrow over the sin of the people that prompted God’s judgment. However, even in the midst of this darkest of tragedies and weeping, Jeremiah was able to share these words of hope and praise in Lam. 3:

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They 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.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

We may witness around us the punishment God allows or orders to happen because of sin or tragedies that simply happen because we live in a sinful world and mourn because of them. But if we have fellowship, friendship, and a partnership with the Lord as Jeremiah did, even in the midst of the sorrow the Holy Spirit in us will prompt us to praise the Lord. He will encourage us to not only take a realistic view of our actions and attitudes toward God to adjust them if necessary, but he will assure us, as he did in Jeremiah’s case, with hope that good things are in store ahead of us after those sorrows have run their course.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Ps. 42:5

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