(Lamentations 3:1-54) – “This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.”
After lamenting vigorously, Jeremiah pauses for a moment of reflection.
It’s not that he hasn’t been reflecting up until this point, but the object of his reflection changes. There is a decided shift in focus.
So often as we are thinking through our pain we process things in the wrong order.
We often start by looking at the bleakness of our circumstances, and then interpret the character and nature of God based on what He has allowed to come in our lives.
Doing this removes ourselves from the equation as if it to say that we do not have culpability in what is happening.
While that could possibly be true, it is not the right way to process pain. Just because we have done “good” doesn’t mean that only “good” will happen to us. The rain falls on the wicked and the righteous.
The better way to process pain is modeled here by Jeremiah. He recalls 2 things to his mind: the character of God and the promises of God.
He begins with these 2 things, and then allows them to shape his perspective about what’s going on in his life.
It’s NOT, “bad is happening, therefore God isn’t good.”
It IS, “God is good, therefore my pain has purpose. God is good, therefore my pain isn’t forever. God is good, therefore I will be disciplined when I am wrong.”
Our thinking controls so much of what we feel and what we do. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
We must so saturate ourselves with God’s character and promises that they can both be recalled actively, and remembered passively.
This brings us to endure, to hope, and to trust.
“Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.”
God doesn’t waste pain. He has an eternal purpose that He’s weaving together for His glory and our good.
Just because we can’t see the reason something is happening doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Take courage today that God is perfectly good and does good in all His ways.