The prophet Jeremiah had witnessed the near destruction of his people at the hand of the Babylonians.
They had ravaged the Israelites, destroyed and desecrated the Temple and, except for a small remnant, they carried those they did not kill off to Babylon.
But the horrors of war and loss of religious structure were not all that Jeremiah endured. As a prophet of God, Jeremiah was ridiculed and ignored. He was betrayed, thrown into a pit, and left for dead. Jeremiah had first-hand knowledge of the miry clay the psalmist sang about in psalm forty.
Yet he penned one of the most encouraging and hope-filled passages of scripture.
“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam 3:22-23)
A man of lament, Jeremiah teaches us much about grief and suffering. And he does so by showing us the truth of God’s great love for His people – you and me.
Jeremiah could speak of God’s faithfulness, long-suffering, and unfailing compassion because he had experienced them first-hand. Right there in the depths of the miry clay. In that seemingly bottomless pit of despair.
Even there, Jeremiah knew:
“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.” (Lam 3:32-33)
Despite his circumstances, Jeremiah trusted in God’s word to him.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” 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. (Lam 3:24-26)
He cried out to the Lord and God heard him and lifted him out of the pit, literally and figuratively. God redeemed Jeremiah.
And God has redeemed you and me. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for our rebellion against God. It set us right, justified us, in the sight of God.
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”Corrie ten boom
If you don’t know God as your merciful Father and the source of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3) then I encourage you to pursue Him until you do. Don’t stop until you are one hundred percent convinced of His great love for you.
It is only through the lens of God’s love that our suffering takes on the golden hue of grace.