But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will 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 wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
So often am I short-sighted and selfish when it comes to my life and my plans for my life. As a sinful, fallen creature, it’s easy for me to get caught up in earthly plans and earthly living instead of looking heavenward with a kingdom mindset. My pride overlooks the fact that God is sovereign over all in my life, and as Psalm 139 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Because I so often focus on my own motives and affairs, when they don’t go as planned or when they take a while to work out, I can easily get discouraged and disappointed, or even worse, frustrated or angry. But the author of Lamentations had so much more going against him. Much of chapter three speaks of unspeakable grief, pain, and helplessness. But in all this, the author finds hope in the Lord – “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope” – he finds hope in the promises of God’s steadfast love and unending mercy. Out of hopelessness comes hope, out of pain and sorrow comes joy, out of brokenness comes redemption. That’s the gospel – in our sinfulness, depravity, and brokenness, God moved to us and out of his steadfast love, mercy, and grace, has given us hope through Christ. Where there was hopelessness in sin, there is hope through Christ. Where there is brokenness from the fall, there is redemption through Christ. Through the atoning work of Christ we are justified in God’s sight – our sins are washed away and remembered no more. What a simultaneously awesome and humbling truth!
The well known hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is based on this passage. The author, Thomas Chisholm, claims that no specific instance in his life inspired him to pen the words – just his experience of the gospel and biblical truths. Every time I sing it, I am moved to tears because of God’s great, unending faithfulness to me, even in my unfaithfulness to him. We also sang this hymn at my Grandpa Walins’ funeral, so I think of him and his loving, gentle, and faithful spirit.