19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[a] 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
Lamentations 3: 19-21, The Message
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
Lamentations is a collection of 5 laments, or psalms of lament. To lament means to wail, to mourn or to weep. Attributed to the weeping prophet Jeremiah, Lamentations sings the sad songs of a people who have been battered by a foreign power, Babylon. The siege of Jerusalem by Babylon not only caused the collapse of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, it caused the people of GOD to wrestle with their identity as GOD's people in a brand new way.
Key Sermon Idea
Though full of sadness, Lamentations takes on a hopeful tone in the middle of chapter 3. This is not a coincidence. We survive tough times by operating in hope, even when crises are taking place all around us. When we feel optionless, that is the precise time for us to make hope or final option.
1. Bitterness is poisonous, and must have an expiration date. No matter how bitter the season we cannot become stuck in our bitterness.
2. Grief is real. And hope is also real. Grieving loss is natural, but the memory of grief is eased by remembering our hope in GOD.
3. The believer always has hope because hope according to Lamentations 3:22 finds it's endless strength in the power of GOD's eternal love. As long as we know we are loved by GOD we always have reason to hope!
Lamentations 3: 22, New living Translation
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.