The book of Lamentations is one of the most emotional books in the Bible. The emotions put on display there are raw and direct.Jeremiah, the author, does not sugarcoat his emotional and physical pain or his disappointment with God’s timing in some cases. It is a book that anyone going through a challenging season will appreciate.
If that’s where you are today - I encourage you to carve out some time to dig into its five chapters for empathy and an infusion of hope.
For the purpose of this short article, the verses we will be pulling some encouragement from today are Lamentations 3:22-23, which say, “The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail; They are new every morning- Great is your Faithfulness”
Earlier in the passage where these verses are culled from, Jeremiah details the depth of hardships and pain that he had experienced. His agony spanned his physical, emotional and mental states; including a lack of peace, strength and even happiness. In 21st century clinical terms, Jeremiah might be described as severely depressed, and the inclusion of his very raw emotions in the Scriptures come as a relief to me, and perhaps to you. And also as permission - that we can grieve, be angry, and to process all of our negative emotions directly with our Heavenly Father.
This is not something that I experienced growing up. Born and raised in Nigeria, our culture oftentimes was quick to hush hurting souls, and their grief was minimized to a lack of faith and hope. And I’m grateful that Jeremiah’s laments teach otherwise; that sorrow, anger and pain are not in themselves sinful emotions, if they land us at the feet of Jesus. He teaches us that God is 100% capable of hearing us out, and in fact he longs for us to trust Him with those very feelings.
Of note too is that Jeremiah’s laments for most of Lamentations chapter 3 do not end in the high pitched cries of lament; he proceeds to dig deep into his history with God, remembering times when God had blessed him undeservedly. That act of intentionally meditating on God’s goodness brought a ray of hope into his despondent heart.
So friend may I encourage you with these words?
Weep if you must tonight. Grieve the loss. Choose to no longer numb the pain - feel it. Talk to a trusted counsellor. Pray. Then give it over to God. I know, this may not bring instantaneous relief...but it’s a start, a move in the direction of authentic healing.
And would you permit me to offer one more encouragement, from Jeremiah’s process?
Ponder the blessings you have experienced, click here to download and print the free illustration pictured below and take time to do some meditative coloring and putting pen to paper - appreciating the things you do enjoy - both tangible and intangible.
And as you do so, friend, be reassured that God’s unending compassion, kindness and love will be waiting to cleanse you afresh in the morning. Every single morning you are alive.
Jesus, I bring to you today the emotions I have not known how to process. Lord I ask that your Holy Spirit will teach me how to take the next step of trusting in you. Although I have been through challenging seasons, I believe that you love me, and that your faithfulness endures forever. Please help me through this process of trusting you for a better future.
I commit to praying for you, send in your prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org