In your hopelessness, hope in the LORD (Lamentations 3:25-26)

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Lamentations 3:25-26
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, 
to the soul who seeks him. 
It is good that one should wait quietly 
for the salvation of the Lord.”

The speaker in Lamentations is a man who claims to have a first-hand experience of suffering. A suffering that has been imposed on Israel because of the wrath of God. This individual’s experience adds credibility and authority to his declaration that you can have hope and trust in Yahweh, even in the midst of suffering. While you read the passages in verses 1 to 19, you notice similar complaints as those in the book of Job.

In these verses, we see the great faithfulness of Yahweh. In verses 1-21, the individual describes his misery because of the wrath of God. He describes his experience with a raft of graphic images to the point where the LORD refuses to answer his prayers, losing all hope. Lamentations 3:8 says, “though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer;” By the time we get to verse 18, we see that all endurance and hope has left, saying, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.” 

At this point of utter despair and hopelessness, the individual remembers his afflictions and wanderings and his spirit is bowed down within Him. Still, he calls God’s goodness to mind, and as he does so, hope arises in him again (Lamentations 3:19-21). This faithfulness is then described in Lamentations 3:22-26, saying, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion, “says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

As we read these passages, it reveals to us God’s divine attributes that speak of His constant disposition of goodness toward His people. The fantastic thing about this passage is that the writer sees such goodness in God that in the very next verse (v.27), he says it is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. The writer is trying to teach that they should humbly submit to God’s judgement and wait for his restoration because God always has compassion for his people. Simply judging is not His desire, but it is so that there will be something good from his judgement. It is to teach us from our failures and sin, eventually leading us back to God’s faithfulness and mercies.

Lamentations 3:31-32 says, “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;.”

God’s goodness is essential to his nature and manifests toward those who seek and wait for Him. Psalms 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  Since God is good, His people can wait quietly for his deliverance, even when they do not understand his purposes fully. 

Lamentations 3:37-42 says, “Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?
Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the LORD!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven:
“We have transgressed and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven.”

Likewise, I want to encourage you in the Lord that God is always good to those who seek, hope, and wait for Him. When you are in distress and feel like you are in the darkness, experiencing the absence of God, you need to know that the light of God stands in opposition to the darkness: with salvation and restoration. You may feel like your prayers are not being answered (Psalm 10:1), but in such a time as that, I encourage you not to give up hope, and just like in Lamentations 3, endure and wait in the Lord, for He is your hope. When you feel like there is no hope left in you, remember the goodness of God, His divine attributes of justice, love, compassion, and that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Amen!

As you read this passage, bring to remembrance the devotion of God to His people, bringing hope out of hopelessness. This hope is only possible if God is the one who “sovereignly afflicts” and “sovereignly heals“. When you do so, you too can experience the incredible faithfulness of God because his mercies never end. Christ is your portion. This phrase recalls the territorial allocations to the Israelite tribes. The priest and Levites have the Lord as their potion. The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi did not have an allotment or inheritance with Israel; instead, God was their portion. Likewise, we, too, must have God as our portion. Amen! Let us finish by reading Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”