Good Grief before God

Lamentations 1:1 – 3:36

Lamentations 3 32 NIV sgl

The word lamentation is defined as “the passionate expression of grief or sorrow; weeping.”  The book of Lamentations is appropriately named.  Jeremiah has witnessed profound calamity, and is overwhelmed with grief, which he is pouring out to God in the book of Lamentations.

 

Jeremiah is called “the weeping prophet” for good reason. Here are a few examples of verses that portray his grief…

1:16, “This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears.  No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit.”

2:11, “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed.

3:19-20, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

 

Jeremiah is honest with his feelings, telling God how he feels – and he doesn’t mince words.

(I might mention here that I think this is an important part of the grieving process, not just for Jeremiah, but for us too.)

 

But even in the middle of his grieving, Jeremiah looked to God for comfort, too.  We see this in Lamentations 3:22-32…

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

 

I think Jeremiah gives us a good example to use when working through mourning and grief.  Honestly tell God how you’re feeling.  He already knows, so it’s not for His benefit.  Verbalizing our grief,  as well as literally crying out to God, actually helps us process our grief, and can help us work through it.

 

But even when overwhelmed with grief, it is also important to remember that God is compassionate and loving.  He will see us through.  Sometimes, it may feel like it’s hard to get through each new day, but the truth remains…

 

“Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.”

 

Despite this truth, we need to remember that the ultimate comfort will be in God’s kingdom, as we’re told in Revelation 21:3-4, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


–Steve Mattison
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to here – Lamentations 1:1-3:36
Tomorrow we will read the rest of Lamentations – 3:37-5:22 – as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

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