HOPE AND EXPECTATION
Date: August 20
Category: Strength in God
"But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness."
Most of the prophetic books are written in a poetic style, including this book. About one third of the entire Old Testament is written in poetry. Actually, the first four of the five chapters of the book of Lamentations are written in the acrostic format, meaning every line starts with a new letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This book is a recording of the cries of Jeremiah, who was known as the weeping prophet. It was written after the people of Israel were sent into exile. Most of the verses in the book of Lamentations are about sorrow and despair, but these verses here are a little different.
It says in verse 21, "But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation." So the things that Jeremiah remembered about the past were the memories that brought him hope about the future. Jeremiah had some good memories about how God delivered them in the past, and those memories awakened his hope and expectation for a better future. Sometimes when we find ourselves in a tough situation, it is good to consider our memories. It's good to think about the things that have happened in the past and how God has helped through our past situations. Those memories will bring us hope and an expectation that God will help us again through our current situation.
Then in verse 22 we read, "It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not." So it could have been worse. Jeremiah and his people could have been consumed. They could have all been wiped away completely. But because of God's mercy and loving-kindness, they were still alive. Yes, they were in exile, but they were still alive. So here Jeremiah acknowledges that the situation could have been worse, but it wasn't worse because of God's tender compassion and mercy.
Then in verse 23a it says, "They are new every morning…" God's mercy is new every single morning. When you woke up this morning, there was already new mercy waiting for you. It doesn't matter what you did yesterday or the day before, God's mercy is new and fresh for you every morning. Let's say you messed up yesterday. Let's say you sinned or did something you weren't supposed to do. You can confess that sin to God, repent from it, and start over again today. It doesn't matter how badly you messed up yesterday. Today is a new day!
Then in verse 23b it says, "great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness." So God has given you His stability in great abundance today, meaning He has given you His strength and power to do everything that you need to do throughout the day. God is going to stand by your side today! Let's say you woke up this morning feeling weak and tired. Deuteronomy 33:25b says, "and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be." In other words, God promises here to give you all the strength that you need for the day. For all the work that the Lord knows you will be doing today, He has already given you that measure of strength that you need. So don't wake up in the morning and say, "I'm tired! I don't want to do anything today!" That negative thinking will only de-energize you. Instead, take hold of the strength that God has already provided for you and use it to accomplish everything that you need to for the day.
Just as we read about Jeremiah finding hope in God, we have hope in God as well. He is here to give us strength for all tasks. He is here to be our stability. He is faithful and will never leave us or forsake us. We can live with this hope and expectation everyday of our lives if we take this word of God into our hearts. When we do that, then we will see that life isn't as bad as we think it is. Really, it could have been much worse. God has been very good to us. When we start thinking positively, then we will have new hope in our lives and expectations for a better future.