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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, October 7, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Lamentations 3:19–26

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (NRSV)

Reflection
“Patience is a virtue” is a familiar cliché that may be easier said than done, especially during times of prolonged suffering. Life circumstances are unpredictable. There are good times and not so good times. In this life, suffering is inevitable. During those difficult moments, it is vital to remember that our circumstances are never superior to the promises of God.

The author of Lamentations experienced unimaginable circumstances. Jerusalem collapsed. The people were carried into exile. Their rivals were taunting them and rejoicing. To add insult to injury, it felt as though God had left them alone without care or support. But in the middle of distress, the prophet proclaims, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” The ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality that fuels our faith in God.

There are times you must realize that those situations beyond our control require that we wait patiently for God to aid and strengthen us. Though the prophet expresses feelings of hopelessness over tragic circumstances, hope is renewed with the assurance that relief is on the way. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God is faithful to provide all that we need.

Every morning that we open our eyes there is an opportunity to acknowledge the faithfulness of God. When suffering and struggle seem to be a routine occurrence, we must claim the eternal faithfulness of God as victory over trials. Always remember that God is stronger than the struggle. With patience you will realize the power of God in your life.

Prayer
Holy God and Parent of all, lead us to know your faithfulness. Give us the strength to wait patiently during times of struggle, knowing that your mercy provides the protection and hope needed to overcome whatever troubles us. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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