by Rick Warren
“Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.” (Lamentations 3:21-24 GNT)
Pain is a natural part of life. You can’t escape it. Broken relationships, missed opportunities, and rough seasons of life will always be with us. When they do come, you can either become bitter or hopeful.
The choice is yours.
Jeremiah faced the same choice. When his world came apart after Jerusalem was sacked in 586 B.C., the prophet wrote the book of Lamentations to share his honest frustrations with God. But he didn’t settle in his bitterness and stay there.
In Lamentations 3:21-24, after sharing his bitter feelings, he wrote, “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope” (GNT).
In the midst of a terrible situation, Jeremiah changed his perspective. It’s healthy and good for us to be honest with God about our feelings, but you have to eventually change your perspective. As long as our minds are on our pain, we won’t solve anything.
Instead, like Jeremiah, we need to recognize God’s great love for us. Jeremiah changed his perspective and recognized the enduring mercies of God. No matter what the problem, no matter how much anger you’ve spewed at God, he still loves you. It’s a constant you can depend upon — no matter what.
The longer you focus on what depresses you, the longer your depression will last. Bitterness keeps you caught in your own pain. In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah gives you a simple cure for bitterness: change how you think.
In the midst of a depressing tirade, Jeremiah says, “Yet hope returns …”
How can you have hope even in your darkest days? You remember, “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue.”
You can count on that! His mercies are as fresh as the morning and as sure as the sunrise.
Talk About It
- What makes hope a choice when we’re going through troubles?
- What practices can you make a part of your life during difficult times that’ll keep hope at the forefront?
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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.