[God’s] compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22–23
My brother Paul grew up battling severe epilepsy, and when he entered his teenage years it became even worse. Nighttime was excruciating for him and my parents, as he’d experience continuous seizures for often more than six hours at a time. Doctors couldn’t find a treatment that would alleviate the symptoms while also keeping him conscious for at least part of the day. My parents cried out in prayer: “God, oh God, help us!”
Although their emotions were battered and their bodies exhausted, Paul and my parents received enough strength from God for each new day. In addition, my parents found comfort in the words of the Bible, including the book of Lamentations. Here Jeremiah voiced his grief over the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, remembering “the bitterness and the gall” (3:19). Yet Jeremiah didn’t lose hope. He called to mind the mercies of God, that His compassions “are new every morning” (v. 23). So too did my parents.
Whatever you’re facing, know that God is faithful every morning. He renews our strength day by day and gives us hope. And sometimes, as with my family, He brings relief. After several years, a new medication became available that stopped Paul’s continuous nighttime seizures, giving my family restorative sleep and hope for the future.
When our souls are downcast within us (v. 20), may we call to mind the promises of God that His mercies are new every morning.
How has God sustained you through the trials you’ve faced? How could you support someone who’s enduring a challenging time?
God, Your love will never leave me. When I feel spent and without hope, remind me of Your mercies and compassion.
The writer of Lamentations isn’t named, but there are reasons to believe that Jeremiah wrote this book. Having prophesied for some forty-seven years (627–580 bc) to a disobedient, disbelieving Judah, Jeremiah writes as an eyewitness, lamenting the destruction and devastation of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonian army. For two years (588–586 bc), Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. Second Kings 25:1–4 tells of the desperate conditions within the besieged city. Jeremiah witnessed the eventual destruction of the city and temple (Jeremiah 52:12–27). In Lamentations, in five emotionally charged dirges or funeral laments, the prophet describes the sufferings of the people and the reasons for them. But he also writes of their hope in the midst of despair. God, who rightly judged their unfaithfulness, is still the God of hope, compassion, faithfulness, and salvation (Lamentations 3:21–33).