Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Depression is real for so many people it cannot be ignored. Reading Lamentations helps me to remember how to deal with it. Have you ever been through something and came away feeling cynical, bitter, or depressed? I have. Cynical is an attitude of pessimism, skepticism, or suspicion. Bitterness is harshness, being tart, or just sour. While depressed is dejected, miserable, unhappy, or disheartened. Christian, how can God work through you when you’re like that? How do you get over those purpose-stealing feelings? Remember mercy. The Lord’s unfailing love gives out immeasurable mercy.
Jeremiah was an Old Testament prophet and he admitted to being depressed for a while. We don’t want to feel like aliens taken to a foreign land like the Jews Jeremiah was lamenting over. Life hasn’t always been easy but God has shown mercy. Great is his faithfulness. We must superimpose an attitude of mercy, love, or hope to uplift others, and point them to the supernatural nature of a merciful God. MERCY is goodness, loving-kindness, faithfulness or just plain favor. When I am down heartened for any reason, I must seek my God of hope from inside me. Thank you, Jeremiah.
Depression is real and reading Lamentations helped me to remember how to deal with it. Things you hold inside can eat you up and produce depression. Be aware of how you hold things inside, especially if you’re mad at God. Jeremiah was transparent about his feelings. In Lamentations 3:17 he acknowledged God as supreme. Nothing could happen without God’s awareness of it. So, he said that God had removed peace from his very soul. He had been deprived of peace to the point that he forgot what prosperity looked and felt like. In verse 18 Jeremiah said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD. Perished means that it passed away; it died. He felt like there was no hope, no expectation from the Lord God.
Then, in verses 19-20, we come across his remembrance of several things, his affliction and his misery. He personally noted suffering and hardship. He considered unhappiness and depression. On another note, Jeremiah considered the wormwood. Wormwood is like a curse and he was bitter about it. He considered the gall, which is also bitter. But, gall is venomous and poisonous, too. Then he said that his soul still remembered. Inside himself, his soul was humbled. If you don’t humble yourself before the Lord, your feelings will eat you up!
What does God have to let you endure for you to become humble? Whatever your current circumstances, they could be worse. Don’t be or become skeptical, cynical, or bitter. Don’t ever get so down about your circumstances that your very soul cannot remember or that you deny God’s presence. Remember your soul’s connection to God. The heart of who you are is your soul. You are not doomed.
God let our fore fathers and mothers go before us to show us. He gave us their shoulders to stand on. On whose shoulders do you stand? I am Barbara Arlene Fields Brehon and I am every person in my family, those gone on and still living. Honor your heritage; cherish the memories, the struggles, and the triumphs. Someone will benefit from watching how you overcome your “stuff”.
Jeremiah remembers a connection with God down to the core of his being, despite his laundry list of woes. It humbled him. Sometimes God has to cut us down so that all we have left is our connection to him. We must work through our issues. Ask God, “What are you doing? What lesson do you want me to learn? Show me what you want me to know and do.” God will show you what you’re made of. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14).
Jeremiah reconnected his mind and soul in verse 21. He is no longer hopeless. 22 He realizes in his mind and to the very core of his being that God’s mercies saved THEM from perishing. He is no longer focused on himself; he becomes inclusive of his people. 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed. He realizes that God does not just have mercy, but that it’s plural, mercies. Like those Jews, we will not be destroyed because God’s compassions never fail. It is an awesome thing to have holy confidence like that. Sometimes God will give us another chance to reconnect to him as author, finisher, and faithful to all his promises.
When issues make you feel downcast, remember them AND the compassion of a loving Lord. Get over those purpose-stealing feelings by praying the words of his Word:
“Lord, you said that your compassions fail not. That lets me know, Lord, that you have compassion in the plural. So, I’m coming back to you, Lord, because I need your compassion on my predicament. I was wrong and I have suffered for it, but you love me and you still have compassion. You said that your compassion is new every morning, Lord. Your faithfulness is great. I can get up every day, Lord with hope in your mercies.”
God can do anything but fail. In all things, give God praise. Pray the words of his Word. Verse 24 says the Lord is my territory, my portion. That’s why I will hope in him, wait for him and I renew my expectations in him. When you are going through something, HOW do you wait on the Lord? Do you let your soul rest in him for deliverance? Or, do you take it upon yourself?
We get into all kinds of stuff. But, Jesus can intercede for us. He might not bail us out, but he’ll be with us even in the middle of our mess, our cynicism, our bitterness and usher us through our depression.
Don’t forget that God still gives out mercies that you cannot measure. The songwriter penned, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed, his hand provided. Great is his faithfulness to me.
God will not only show you a rainbow, but sometimes a double rainbow, a reminder that God keeps his promises.
Point to Ponder: Mercy, what do you think?
And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.