Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:22
When a friend asked me to speak with teenage girls at a workshop promoting purity, I declined. As a teenage runaway, I struggled and had decades of scars caused by my immorality. After getting married and losing our first child to a miscarriage, I thought God was punishing me for my past sins. When I finally surrendered my life to Christ at the age of thirty, I confessed my sins and repented . . . repeatedly. Still, guilt and shame consumed me. How could I share about God’s grace when I couldn’t even bring myself to fully receive the gift of His great love for me? Thankfully, over time, God has abolished the lies that chained me to who I was before I confessed my sins. By His grace, I’ve finally received the forgiveness God had been offering me all along.
God understands our laments over our afflictions and the consequences of our past sins. However, He empowers His people to overcome despair, turn from our sins, and arise with hope in His great “love,” “compassion,” and “faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:19–23). Scripture says that God Himself is our “portion”—our hope and salvation—and we can learn to trust His goodness (vv. 24–26).
Our compassionate Father helps us believe His promises. When we receive the fullness of His great love for us, we can spread the good news about His grace.
When have you felt consumed by your past sins? How has God helped you rest in the sure hope of His immeasurable love and grace?
Compassionate Father, please help me place my hope in the surety of Your great love for me as I spread the good news about Your grace wherever I go.
The book of Lamentations was written in the days following Judah’s tragic defeat and exile to Babylon (586 bc; see Lamentations 1:3). In painful detail, the author attributes horrific national suffering not just to the cruelty of the Babylonian military but to divine wrath that doesn’t sound compassionate or merciful (2:1–4). Yet the prophet’s tears mirrored the heart of God who didn’t enjoy allowing His people to suffer (3:33). For many years, however, His people had been following other gods while exploiting poor and defenseless neighbors (Isaiah 1:23). God had been patient. But because His people had grown stubbornly cold-hearted in the way they ignored Him and hurt one another, He followed through on His many warnings to them. Yet there was still hope. There would be restoration (Jeremiah 30:1–3; 33:6–9).