Most of us have experienced seasons of loss and extreme grief. For many, the intense pain and heartache lingers for months, years or even decades afterwards. God wants us who are experiencing this now or still carrying hurt from the past to know that He cares and that He is there to bring us the comfort and healing we need.
Jeremiah was called to be a prophet of warning to his people, even knowing in advance that his warnings would not be heeded. When Judah was overrun by the Babylonians and carried off into exile, he was a witness to every ugly thing that happened, and his soul was overcome by it. No more were the joys and pleasant routines of life to be experienced in this land – Judah was now a ruin.
Jeremiah is sometimes referred to as “The Weeping Prophet”. This is probably not a fair label, as anyone who saw the terrors that he saw would probably do the same.
Jeremiah wrote of his hopelessness and depression in the book of Lamentations. Yet, in the heart of this book is an expression of hope and faith that is still there for us today, to help lift us out of our own seasons of despair, heartache, and pain.
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:19-24 (NIV)
Healing deep heartache and loss takes time – lots of it. But God will never forsake us nor leave us alone in our hours of darkness. He will strengthen us to help us hang in there and will ultimately bring us through to a new place of peace in Him.
In 1923, Thomas Chisholm, a person who suffered through many bouts of illness in his life, wrote a hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, to express the eternal truth of this scripture in poem.
1 Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
2 Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. [Refrain]
3 Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]
Are you experiencing a season of grief, despair, illness, or depression, or carrying the wounds of a past loss or hurt in your soul? I pray that the Lord will comfort you and bring you through to a place of complete healing for your heart, soul, spirit, mind, and body.
Lord, bring healing and comfort to Your servants, for there is much grief and pain in broken hearts. Bring us through to a new season of life in Your loving presence. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.