Something that I love about the Bible is how alive it is. Every time I open God’s Word, something jumps off the page and speaks to me in a new way. It wasn’t always like this for me, but lately I’ve just been more aware of how loud His voice can sometimes be.
For the past two years, I’ve been reading through Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah. Just about a month and a half ago I finally finished. What a journey! Last week, I began wondering what God would have me read next. For some reason, Lamentations kept sticking out to me. I didn’t know why. After all, my life has been so pleasant lately, you know? Why would a book about LAMENTING be relevant to me?
I finally decided to start reading Lamentations the other day. I’m now on the third chapter and this morning, God just kind of hit me with something that I never fully understood or believed in before.
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Surrounding these verses are accounts of how devastated the Israelites are. We are told of how women are eating their children, priests and prophets are being killed, and young and old are being slain (2:20-21). It’s not a pretty picture.
Yet these two verses explaining God’s love stand out. The phrase that I especially held onto was “we are not consumed.”
How could a people who are experiencing suffering and devastation and death say that they are not consumed?
The answer: their hope was in the Lord.
The Israelites experienced this time of pain and loss because of their sin against the Lord. The reason for this discipline was because God wanted His people to repent of what they’ve done and run back to Him. As their downfall is occurring, we see that they finally have put their hope back in their God. They are willing to be faithful once again.
And because of this renewed faith and hope in Him, it is as if they know they are truly free.
As I read this, it was as if God reached down and gently said to me, “YOU are not consumed either.”
It’s easy to think that the sin or anger or grief or bad habits in my life are all that I am. I am my sin. I am my hate. I am my perfectionism. I am my ignorance.
This is far from true! I am NOT consumed by any of those things. I am never too far gone from God that I cannot turn back. Like the verse says in Lamentations, His compassions are new every single morning. What an amazing God we have!
Something that I realized this morning is that satan does not have the upper-hand, although he likes for us to think otherwise. Even when satan is against me and I give in to temptation, I am not controlled. I have already surrendered to God’s unfailing love, and it covers me. Every day is another day to find rest and freedom in His arms.
This was news to me. Or rather, a wake-up call!
Likewise, you are not consumed when you put your hope in the Lord. His great love for you will keep you from straying. And if you do find yourself wandering away, His compassion and grace for you will never fail. Like the father of the prodigal son, He will RUN to you upon your return and celebrate.
You are more than your sin and your mistakes. You are more than your failures. They do not consume you or define who you are.
His love does.