by Steven Chan
17 April 2011
Have you ever felt being in a hopeless situation? The Bible describes that scenario in Lamentations 3: 17-18: “You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity. And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the LORD.”
When (and not IF) we find ourselves feeling hopeless or despondent, it will do us well to remember what the Bible says in Lam 3:20-21: “My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.”
What will you remember during such down times? What will you recall? What the prophet remembered, gave him hope. He recalled that “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lam 3:21-24 (ESV). The Bible urges us to remember and never forget that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. What a tremendous assurance! God will not forsake us: “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6). When we know our God and His promises and recall His assurances, we can have renewed hope.
When feeling discouraged, we need to remember the exhortation of the Scriptures in Lam 3:25-33 that we should
hope and wait quietly for the deliverance of the Lord, knowing that God will not allow us to suffer beyond what we are able to bear (I Cor 10:13):
“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. It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust–there may yet be hope. Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach.
For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.”
The Bible urges us to wait patiently upon the Lord – to trust God that He will work things out for our good in the end (Deut 8:16:Rom 8:28): “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.” (Psa. 37:7-9) Again in Psa 130:5-7: “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.” Like the Psalmist, we should wait for the Lord and “in His Word we hope”.
The Bible reminds us who God is: There is none like Him. He is our Creator and He knows whatever is happening and whatever may be afflicting us, and He will give strength to those who wait for Him:
“To whom then will you compare me that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa 40:25-31, ESV)
Let us learn to walk by faith in God (2 Cor 5:7), i.e. learning to trust Him in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in – knowing that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.