When It Seems That All Hope Has Flown Away

When It Seems That All Hope Has Flown Away                           April 17, 2022

“I have become a laughingstock to all my people, their mocking song all the day.  God has filled me with bitterness, He has made drunk with wormwood.  And He has broken my teeth with gravel; He has made me cower in the dust.  And my soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness.  So I say, ‘My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.'” (Lamentations 3:14-18)

Our life is like a road.  Sometimes it’s straight and easy.  Other times it’s wet, icy and slippery.  Some travel uphill while others are downhill.  And they can suddenly have a curve in them along with unexpected bumps and potholes.  I don’t like traveling on these last roads mentioned, do you?

Which road do you find yourself travelling on these days?  And how are you handling the trip?  Are your recent health issues slowing you down so that you don’t travel as fast as usual?  Do you find it difficult to adjust to the sudden changes in your life such as the passing of a loved one, loss of a job, etc.? 

The prophet Jeremiah had some difficult roads to travel in his lifetime.  They were so bad that he despaired of any hope from the Lord.  His own people would laugh at him and even composed a song in which they sang and mocked him all day long.  His trip in life was bitter to the taste and he claims that God had allowed his life to be filled with it.  He can’t even get the taste of bitterness out of his mouth.  He describes his situation as one of sorrow as it would be for one to try to eat with broken teeth and as one who cover themselves with ashes to express their remorse.  On this road he knows no peace and has forgotten what it’s like to be happy.  Being rejected from God’s people deprived him of all strength and thus, he no longer has any hope from the Lord.

It’s hard to believe that someone as faithful to God as Jeremiah was could ever feel this way about his life.  It’s easy to criticize the conclusions he had but until we travel that same road I would hesitate to say anything derogatory about him.  His road was tough!!  Satan made it that way.  Whenever he did what God told him to do Satan would make him pay.  He was harshly mistreated and even left for dead in a pit until God rescued him.  He knew what loneliness was all about as well as rejection.  He is known as the weeping prophet and so we find his words in the book of Lamentations.  Indeed, his road was very difficult to travel.

But there’s something else that is noteworthy about Jeremiah.  When enduring the bad things he suffered that made him no longer have hope from the Lord, he would change his focus from those problems and remember some attributes of God.   These would cause him to once again have hope.  He said, “This I recall to my mind, therefore, I have hope.  The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.  ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:19-24).

Whatever road you’re traveling on right now, don’t be overwhelmed by the difficulties you’re facing on it.  Don’t despair off all hope and rob yourself of all peace and happiness.  God is good.  He’s always good and faithful.  Change your focus from your problems to a God that loves you and is always faithful towards you.  Remember God is bigger than your problems or as someone said, “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is.”

Safe travels!

Brian Thompson

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