HOPING in GOD’s MERCIES, COMPASSION & FAITHFULNESS: Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I hope in Him!" The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam 3:22-26)
The above verses embody the central thesis of the book of Lamentations. In the midst of the lingering depression over his misery, prophet Jeremiah gets his eyes off himself and onto the Lord. Hope is revived when he remembers that the Lord’s mercies and compassions are new every morning and that His faithfulness is great (vv. 21–24). The lesson that he had learned in the school of affliction: it is good to wait quietly for the Lord’s deliverance (vv. 25–26).
This is one of the poignant expressions of the grace of God found anywhere in the Bible. All would be consumed were it not for God’s mercies. The word “mercies” is a translation of the Hebrew word “hesed” meaning “lovingkindness” (Jer. 2:2). This word captures the spirit of the term “grace” in the New Testament (Eph. 2:8). Each morning His mercies are fresh, verifying God’s great faithfulness to us (v. 23). Every day presents us with a new opportunity to discover and experience more of God’s love. God remains “full of grace and truth” in every situation (see Ex. 34:6, 7; John 1:14).
These verses mark the turning point in Jeremiah’s experience of grief and prayer. As he looked at himself (vv. 1–18), he saw an aged man on a winding path in the dark, being pursued by lions. The more he considered his feelings, the more hopeless he felt. Then he looked away from himself and by faith looked to the Lord. He has hope now (v. 21) because of God’s mercies, compassions, and faithfulness. Focusing on our problems can make us discouraged, but focusing on God’s never-ending faithfulness gives us hope!
God will not forsake His children today. His mercy and grace have been extended to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), and nothing can separate us from His love (8:31–39). As a result, we can have hope (5:1–5; 1 Pet. 1:3–5), even in the midst of the gloomiest circumstances (2 Cor. 1:8–11).
"Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." (Psalms 36:5-7)