Personal trials, tragedies, and even divine discipline can all prompt us to doubt God’s everlasting love. Even those of us who have walked with the Lord for many years sometimes feel tempted to think He has abandoned us, especially when we walk through the rubble of lives destroyed by disobedience.
The man we know as “the weeping prophet,” Jeremiah, came to feel this way. Jeremiah had just lived through one of the worst disasters ever to befall God’s people. The Babylonians had descended upon the Hebrew nation and devastated it. Whomever they did not kill, they locked in chains and led away into captivity. The Babylonians left behind only the poorest people of the land to remain in their own ruined shacks.
In this depressed, bitter state, Jeremiah poured out his broken heart, recording his dark experiences in the little book of Lamentations. For three chapters he mourns and wails, freely expressing his deep anguish. And then, suddenly, in the middle of the book, he has a radical change of mind. Rather than continuing to recall the bitterness and horror of this murderous siege, he allows his thoughts to bring him home. He begins to think of the Lord—and first of all—the Lord’s mercies:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).
It’s as if the prophet thought, I am still here. I’m still alive. Where there is life, there is hope—and if it weren’t for God’s mercies, I would long ago have been destroyed. I would have been consumed in that dreadful siege. Things really could be worse. God has been compassionate toward me. He has dealt with me in faithfulness and in love.
Jeremiah had been thinking that God had forsaken him completely. “God has hedged me in,” he said in essence. “He’s not listening to my prayers.” But when he stopped long enough to adjust his thinking along more biblical lines, he quickly reaffirmed the truth: God’s love never fails.
God will never stop loving those who belong to Him. That means God never has stopped—and never will stop—loving you. He does not love you when you behave and hate you when you disobey. God’s love for you always remains constant and unchanging. It never fails. God continually pours out His love upon you—and that love depends not upon what you are, but upon who He is. As Jeremiah finally recalled, His compassions fail not; they are new every morning.
- excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith