Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 – August 29 – From the Depths of Despair to the Heights of Hope

Study from God’s Word Lamentations, Chapters 1 and 2 … Passage for Reflection: Lamentations 1: 20 … NIV [Jeremiah, singing the lament of “Jacob”] “See, O LORD, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death.”

My Journal for Today: As I read Jeremiah’s lamentation, I feel great empathy. I was once like Israel or Judah, ignoring my God and falling prey to my own selfish sinfulness. And I became captive to the consequences of my sin. Also like Israel and Judah, it took a cataclysm of brokenness for me to realize that I had to bring my brokenness to God and surrender to His will, living His way, and following His word.

And now, perhaps like Jeremiah, I see clearly the waste that comes from choosing to ignore God in disobedience; and I grieve, not only for all the years I lost, living in my own sinfulness; but I grieve for others whom I know will have to be broken to the core of their being before they realize the ramifications of their own personal disobedience. I feel some of the same grief Jeremiah must’ve felt, seeing God’s children languishing in the consequences of their sin and having to come to the place of confession and cleansing before their God.

But even though I identify with the grieve expressed in Lamentations, I have come to know and proclaim the hope and victory one can have when he’s willing to surrender self to the Savior and receive the free saving and sanctifying grace offered by our Messiah, Jesus Christ. From the depths of despair, any believer in Jesus Christ can be – and will be – lifted to the heights of hope if he (or she) is able to die to self and follow Jesus (see Luke 9: 23 and 1st John 1: 9). Taking our crosses to the foot of His is the only way to shed the grief of our past and to live in the hope of His future.

And no more need be said as the remedy of the grief expressed by Jeremiah than to look to The Messiah.

My Prayer for Today: Oh, Lord, You are the hope … and the only hope. Amen

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