Monday, August 8, 2011

My Endurance and Hope Has Perished

so I say, "My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord."
Lamentations 3:18

We've all felt this lament at some point just as Jeremiah is feeling here, but for most of us, myself included, we have been raised in a church culture that no longer allows you to honestly express yourself when it comes to doubts. Instead we have created a culture that feels as if it can only express itself in a way that is described on "positive and encouraging" K-Love.

I have often felt this way, most recently when it came to the potential for my family to be homeless and without jobs, due to some uncontrollable circumstances in our life. I knew the "Christian" answer that I would give most people, but I was sick and tired of hearing it from others. Common phrases used were: "God knows best", "God has a plan", and my favorite "God is Sovereign."

I kept thinking I have been a follower of Christ long enough that I know all of this so thank you captain obvious! I guess most people just wanted me to smile and say, "God is good all the time." Instead I chose to be honest, imagine that, about how I was feeling in the midst of all this just as the prophet of God, Jeremiah, was honest in his circumstance.

I think what we often forget is that God can handle all of our doubts and He can answer all of our questions so there is no reason to be worried or freaked out when people doubt and question God. In fact I often encourage people to do this. My pastor, J.D. Greear, described it this way this weekend, "Real faith grows out of honestly expressed doubt."

But for the prophet Jeremiah it doesn't end with doubt instead we see a huge transition take place from verses 21-24. But this I call to mind, and therefore I 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." Lamentations 3:21-24

So for Jeremiah in the midst of his doubting and questioning of God he recognized that God is enough; which for me in my circumstance I came to this same conclusion that God is enough and as verse 24 points out "therefore I will hope in Him. We will not always understand what is going on in our circumstances that is why J.D. Greear also pointed out that God is often doing three things in our lives when we face difficulty and despair. He's pursuing His agenda, He' purifying your heart, and He's preparing you for ministry. 

There are definitely going to be times of difficulty in your life and in the midst of those you will often have doubts and questioning of God. But be honest in those times as Jeremiah was honest by allowing your faith to grow as you express your doubt. 

1 comment:

  1. Just when we think we might trust God enough, He has a way of getting us to trust Him more. Sometimes I'm tempted to say, "Lord, just once couldn't you let be self-sufficient?" Then I rejoice because He won't do it. It simply wouldn't end well.