I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness, and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet 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 3:19-23
A little bit of background on Lamentations:
The author is Jeremiah, and Lament means loud cry. Jeremiah is in anguish over Jerusalem's destruction from unrepented sins. Much of Lamentations, if not all of it, reads like a prayer. I think it's vital because even in the midst of how Jeremiah felt (the anguish and heartbreak), we see that he arrived at a place where his focus changes. Instead of focusing on the situation, he focuses on God!!
This part of Lamentations is a great reminder and example to be mindful of our perspective and to maintain the proper perspective. It is easy and very natural for us to focus our attention on the situation itself and everything wrong. Instead, we have to pause, step back, and change our perspective. Changing our perspective means asking God what he wants us to learn or show us. Think of it as putting on God's lenses or having God's eyes in the situation. When we are trying to see things with our eyes, we will rarely see the situation from the proper perspective because our flesh usually gets in the way.
We are a selfie culture. We love looking at ourselves, but as Christians, when it comes to our life, it is not about us! It's about God. We are a piece of God's puzzle, a part of his beautiful master plan! We have to stop with all the "spiritual selfies" and turn the camera around so you can gain the proper perspective.
When we turn the camera around, when we shift our perspective, we begin to have a similar experience as Jeremiah. Jeremiah's perspective changed in verse 21. "Yet I call to mind and therefore I have hope:"
I can just imagine while Jeremiah was in prayer, in deep anguish over what was happening to Jerusalem, he started to think about God. He began to think about who God was, who God had proven himself to be in the past. What was once a loud cry turned into loud praise and worship. Which we see in verses 22 and 23, 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.
For believers, a shift in perspective is often required. We shouldn't focus too much on the trail or difficulty we are facing. We have to shift our focus on who God is, who He has shown himself to be, and what the Word of God says.
This shift can be challenging to do when you haven't been pursuing and intimate relationship with God. A close relationship with God comes by spending time with Him and in His word. When we aren't doing this, it can become a challenge to call to mind the Word of God, which gives us hope, comfort, and peace, among many other things.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation, I want to encourage you to pause and:
1) stop and make sure you are looking at it from the right perspective. Ask God what he wants you to get from this situation.
2) Continually seek God and holding on to the word of God. (Hope from promises of God, never fail) because when you do this, it helps because you call to mind when you need it the most because it's in your heart.
3) Despite how you may be feeling and difficulty of your situation, offer up praise and worship. God inhabits the praises of his people. Your situation may not go away, but God will be with you in the midst of it.
Until Next Time-
J.Branch is a wife, mother and child of God. She is passionate about helping others live the life they desire, have fruitful relationships and know who they were created to be and to live a life of purpose.
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