Lamentation is defined as a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. In this time Israel has been through pain and destruction. Lament is a human response to suffering before God who can stop the suffering. Lamenting pushes us to be helpless before God who can rescue us and bring us out of our situation.
Have you ever been in deep sorrow? The kind where all you want to do is disappear or break into a thousand pieces. Those times are hard to say the least. I know the same feeling more than I would like to admit.
But I have realized that in those moments, the best thing we can do is go to God. Bring him our lamentations, our sorrows.
This is what Lamentations is. In this book Israel is bringing their sorrows to God and finding peace in him. They have nothing left after the destruction and pain brought by the Babylonians, yet in Lamentations 3 it says this.
“Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood, and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say the Lord is my portion therefore I will put my trust in him.”
There is joy in the mourning! These people had nothing, had suffered, and yet they have all this love and trust in God and his faithfulness. Because God is good, and he knows our sorrows. He wants us to go to him with every little heartache just as the Israelites did!
There is hope in our lamentations and love for our suffering because God will use it for good.
It is encouraging to know the good God we serve, who brings joy in the mourning. Who leads us through battle and into victory.
This is the best part.
“For the Lord will not reject us forever. Even if he causes suffering, he will show compassion according to the abundance of his faithful love. For he does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.”
I love this part, but it is a little bit of a tough pill to swallow. God is compassion, love, and peace, but he also brings along testing and affliction when he knows we need it. Those are the hard times. But we are strong through those hard times, knowing that God is there to guide.
We won’t know how long pain may last. But what is important is not letting our grief stop us from serving God. Our pain is what we can use to reach others with God’s love.
- Where do you turn in your sorrow?
- What gives you hope in the midst of grieving?