Trusting God; December 31, 2017

Lamentations 3:21-23 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations was written in a time of almost unthinkable tragedy. The Jews had brought it on themselves by their persistent rebellion and idolatry, but that still didn’t negate God’s choice of them as His people. Jeremiah was understandably heartbroken, but here in chapter three he reminds himself of God’s character, and that gives him hope. We do well to learn from Jeremiah. Everyone goes through times of difficulty and even tragedy, but that doesn’t mean that God has forgotten them. When difficult times come, we need first of all to ask God what part we might have had in bringing them on. Most of the time there is at least something, and sometimes a great deal, of which we need to repent. The good news is, repentance and forgiveness are possible. The devil does all he can to convince us that’s not true, but his lies don’t change God’s truth. At any moment, complete restoration of fellowship with God is possible. The devil hates that in us, and he is desperate to hide it from us. That’s why we need to get God’s Word into us to counter the lies of the devil. As Jesus said, the truth will set us free. (John 8:32)

This is a very good reminder for us right now. The tension over moving out of the status quo and into something new has caused people to leave our already very small group. That is very painful, but it doesn’t change God’s faithfulness. Whereas it is certainly true that the Church is people, and not land, buildings, or anything else, it is made up of disciples, and sometimes God does things to prepare a specific, limited group to accomplish His purposes. He famously did that with Gideon, as recorded in Judges 7, and He has done that again and again in various situations. We have heard a lot over the past several months about disciples vs. “guest members,” and there is no question which God is after. For many years quoting John 16:33 has been almost a habit with me: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God’s plans for the new year are without question good. (Jeremiah 29:11) I am to rest in that assurance and look forward with joyful anticipation to what He is going to do.

Father, thank You for this comforting reminder. I pray that all of the activities of today may be as You plan and desire, so that we may enter the new year with hearts focused on You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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