Lam. 3:21-23 THE FAITHFUL GOD
Intro: The book of Lamentations is a series of dirges, or poems of mourning,
that were written against the backdrop of the Babylonian invasion and
destruction of Jerusalem. In the verses of this book, we can see the awful sufferings
endured by the people of that city at the hand of their enemies. In the midst
of the pain and the turmoil, God had His man in Jerusalem to record the events
and to bring honor to His Name.
The writer of the book of Lamentations is believed to be Jeremiah. The man
known as the Weeping Prophet. A study of this man's life reveals a portrait of
unending sadness and deep depression. Allow me to give you some of the
background for this man of God.
1. Received an unwanted call to minister - Jer. 1:5-6
2. Called to a ministry of preaching nothing but judgment - Jer. 1:9-10.
3. He was forbidden to marry so that he might give himself more fully to his
ministry of proclaiming the impending judgment of God - Jer. 16:1-13. As a
result he was very familiar with loneliness.
4. He was a man of deep sadness and he wept openly about the sins of his
people - Jer. 9:1.
5. He endured depression as the result of his message going unheeded for so
long. He even came to the point where he tried to get out of the ministry, Jer.
20:9. His pain is understandable, because in a ministry that spanned some 50
years, there is no record of even one convert.
6. He suffered imprisonment by King Zedekiah because the king did not
approve of Jeremiah's preaching - Jer. 32:5. Even while the Babylonians are
invading the city in fulfillment of his prophet declarations, Jeremiah is
sitting in the dungeon - Jer.. 32:2.
7. After Jerusalem falls and many have been killed or taken captive, the
prophet does not gloat or take an "I told you so" mentality. Instead,
he becomes broken with the remnant and enters into suffering with them -
After enduring a life like this. After being rejected, hated, mocked,
imprisoned, ignored; after seeing his beloved Jerusalem ransacked, desecrated and
destroyed; after experiencing the horror of war, the brutality of the enemy and
the pangs of hunger, Jeremiah still able to stand forth amid the rubble of the
city and the bodies of the dead and lift his voice in praise to God for His
great, unfailing faithfulness to His people. How was this possible? Despite his
trials and his troubles, Jeremiah had a handle on the reality of just Who God
is! Jeremiah knew that whether things went well, or whether everything fell
apart, God would still be God and that God would be eternally faithful to His
people, Ill. Lam. 3:21!
Like Jeremiah, we all go through difficult and trying times. When these
times come to us we also need the blessed assurance that God is faithful!
Thankfully the Bible gives overwhelming evidence of the faithfulness of God.
Allow me, from these verses to share some glorious lessons, as they are
presented here, about The Faithful God.
I. V. 22a A LESSON ABOUT LOVE
(Mercies - This word is translated
"loving-kindness" over 30 times in the Old Testament. It is a very
expressive word that conveys all the ideas of "love, grace, mercy,
faithfulness, goodness and devotion." This word pictures God as
the Divine lover of men. It finds its New Testament equivalent in the word
agape. Regardless of what we face as we go through this life, we must ever
remember that God loves us unceasingly and perfectly through them all! Notice 3
quick thoughts about the love of God for you and me.)
A. The Scope Of God's
Love - John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-7. None in beyond the reach of the love
of God Almighty - Eph. 2:1-4. Regardless of how you may feel at any given
moment of life, God does love you and He will always love you. He loves as no
other can, or as no other will!
B. The Strength Of
God's Love - Jer. 31:3; Rom. 8:38-39. God's love for man is a love
that knows no boundaries. He loves us constantly and completely. It is a love
that can never be broken by us or by Himself. His love is boundless and
eternal. Never forget the awesome truth that God loves you! When others turn
their backs on you and when their love grows cold and empty, God will still be
there to love you and He will never stop or change in His love for you!
C. The Source Of God's
Love - 1 John 4:8. By His very nature, God is love. Everything
that happens in your life and in mine is an expression of His great love for
you and me. That is why we can quote Romans 8:28 with blessed assurance,
because no matter what happens to me or to you, it is a product of the great
love of God for us. We must always remember that nothing happens in your life
or mine that does not first pass through the filter of God's love and of His
will for our lives - Isa. 45:7, "I form the light, and create
darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
I. A Lesson About Love
II. V. 22b-23a A LESSON ABOUT LIFE
(Compassion - This is a word that literally means
"womb". It means "to be moved in the heart out of love for
another." This word is a picture of the grace of God in the life of the
believer. You see, as we pass through our storms and our valleys, we do no do
so alone! God observes our path and gives grace for the journey. There are 2
thought given here about the grace of God that we need to learn and remember as
we go through life.)
A. V. 22b God's Grace
Is Sufficient - (Ill. The great Apostle and the thorn in the
flesh. God did not promise an easier road, but He promised that His grace would
be sufficient for the need - 2 Cor. 12:9.)
(Ill. Grace is usually defined as
"The unmerited love and favor of God toward sinners." It carries that
idea, but this is a word that changed with the growth of the church. It came to
refer to the strength of God to face battles and to bear up under times of
difficulty. With this in mind, we should always remember that regardless of
what life sends our way, we can be confident of the fact that the Lord will
give us the necessary strength to face the trying times of life. You'll never
face a situation as a believer that God will not give grace to help you make it
through. Notice the promise given in Isaiah 43:1-2, "1.) But now
thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O
Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine. 2.)When thou passest through the waters, I will
be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou
walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame
kindle upon thee.")
B. V. 23a God's Grace
Is Specific - According to this verse, the grace of God is as fresh
as the new day. We do not have to worry about there not being enough for us to
make it through, for God's grace in our lives is as fresh as the new day.
(Ill. Note: Matt. 6:34, "Take
therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the
things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Just as every new day brings with it its own set of burdens and problems, so
each day witnesses a new, unfailing, all-sufficient, supply of God's marvelous,
matchless, wonderful, amazing grace.")
I. A Lesson About Love
II. A Lesson About Life
III. V. 23b A LESSON ABOUT THE LORD
(Faithfulness - This is word which means firmness, fidelity, steadiness,
steadfastness. This word pictures God as One upon Whom we can depend. We can be
sure that as we face the storms, trials and valleys of life, God will ever
prove Himself to be steadfast and faithful to you and me. To put it very
simply, you can count on the Lord! His faithfulness is revealed in:
A. His Presence
- Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. These verses, along with others reveal the great
truth that God is always present with His children. Even when He cannot be
seen, He is there. When you cannot trace God in your life, I challenge you to
come to the place where you can trust Him.
B. His Performance
- Eph. 3:20 - Focus on the word able! If this verse is to be taken at face
value, and I am certain that it is, then it becomes plain that our God is
greater, by far, than any problem we have, or will ever face. God is an awesome
God and His children need to be remembering that great truth. God will take
care of you!
C. His Provision
- Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33; Psalm 37:25 - These verses teach us the great
truth that God is interested in meeting our needs. Please hear what the Lord
said: Needs not Greed's! God has promised to take care of His children, and He
will! It may be that His idea of taking care is different than yours, but that
is where faith in the trustworthiness of God comes in. We must come to the
place where we are willing to trust the Lord to take care of us in any way that
He sees fit. Notice the trust that Job had in the Lord - Job 13:15. I am sure
that Job would have chosen another alternative than losing his children, his
health and his wealth, but he is willing to trust the Lord through times that
cannot be understood and that make no sense. What about you and me? Do we
really believe that the Lord is absolutely faithful? Do we believe that He has
our best interests at heart? Are we confident of the fact that God will indeed
provide for our needs?
D. His Person
- Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6. These verses reveal the truth about God nature that
makes Him reliable at all times. That is simply the fact that He does not
change! God is the sames He has been forever, and the same as He will be
forever. He was faithful in the beginning and He will be faithful in the end.
He was steadfast in the lives of the bible characters who placed their faith in
Him and He will be steadfast in the life of ever believer who will trust Him in
these days. God is a steadfast and trustworthy God!
Conc: Great is the faith that can stand amid the wreckage of life and
declare the praises of God. Jeremiah was that kind of a believer. Are you?
During the early years of missionary activity in China, four members of one
family accepted Christ as Savior, but the youngest, a little boy, did not.
Later he came to his father and said he wanted to confess publicly that he had
received the Savior. The father felt he was not old enough, so he explained to
the lad that he might fall back if he made a profession when he was so young.
To his well-meaning, concerned father, the boy gave this touching reply:
"Jesus has promised to carry the lambs in His arms. I am only a little
boy. It will be easier for Jesus to carry me." The simplicity and
genuineness of the boy's faith made a profound impression on the father, and he
quickly sensed that his son knew what he was doing. Soon the youngster made
known his faith in Christ and followed the Lord in believer's baptism.
As you and I face the battles, burdens,
valleys, storms and trials of life, we must always remember that we are His
little lambs and that He is well able to carry us safely through. I hope
you can see a little more clearly this evening that He is The Faithful God!