PRAY to GOD for RESTORATION and RENEWAL: "You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation. Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time? Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old, unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!" (Lam 5:19-22)
The Book of Lamentations ends on a note of hope and a powerful bit of wisdom by affirming that God remains forever (v. 19). Jeremiah’s sadness concerning the state of Judah and the fall of Jerusalem is ameliorated only by his awareness that God alone remains unchangeable. Situations and circumstances may undergo rapid change, but God is eternally on His throne. Therefore, there is cause for hope. In spite of severe suffering because of her sin, Judah had not been abandoned as a nation. In a final burst of faith, this prayer lays hold of restoration and renewal in the Lord.
God’s eternal rule and reign are a hope and support during the bleakest moments of suffering and despair (see Psalms 80:1, 2; 89:3, 4; 103:19). In the light of God’s unchanging faithfulness and righteousness (Psalms 52:1; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), Jeremiah pleads with God to act so that the hearts of His people will be turned back to Him in godly sorrow and full repentance. Without genuine repentance and conversion there can be no restoration to the former relationship between God and His people!
From the book of Lamentations, we can note that the road to renewal in our lives will also take the following steps:
- Step 1: From sin to suffering (Lam. 1:8)
- Step 2: From sorrow to repentance (Lam. 1:20)
- Step 3: From prayer to hope (Lam. 3:19–24)
- Step 4: From faith to restoration (Lam. 5:21)
Let us always remember that God’s chastening is proof that He loves us and has not forsaken us (Heb. 12:5–11). One day, He will take us out of the furnace and give us a new start. We will be restored and renewed if we let Him have His way.
"Restore us, O God; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!" (Psalms 80:3)