The hope of the LORD pulled the prophet Jeremiah out of the pit of depression.
What is the hope that Jeremiah experienced? It wasn’t wishful thinking or blind optimism. It didn’t come from Jeremiah’s strength of character or personal willpower. This hope was based on the promises and absolute trustworthiness of the one true God – compassionate and faithful, all-knowing and all-powerful. Jeremiah wrote:
The Lord’s mercies indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3: 20-23)
The Hebrew word that Jeremiah used in verse 22 (chesed), translated here as mercies, also means loving-kindness, goodness, devotion, and steadfast love. Chesed is an aspect of God, a central feature of His character.
Hope is born of the LORD’S mercies.
The LORD’S mercies are available to His people who need redemption from troubles, enemies, and sin. Jeremiah needed redemption from all three.
“The LORD is my portion, says my soul,
Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3: 24)
Jeremiah’s hope (a patient, expectant waiting) rested on the LORD’S promise of rescue to those who seek and worship the Lord and wait patiently for the LORD (Lamentations 3: 25-26) and shows us how the hope of God can transcend circumstances, tragedies, suffering, and evil.
Jeremiah was humbled by God and strengthened by God.
No one could experience the suffering that Jeremiah endured and not be devastated. Yet Jeremiah believed the LORD would rescue his soul. He didn’t know when or how. His relationship with the LORD was the lifeline that restored Jeremiah’s mind to sanity. His primary focus wasn’t on physical rescue for himself, but rather on worshiping the one true God. Jeremiah understood what many people deny – the LORD is holy and deserves our worship regardless of our circumstances or suffering.
The next time you’re faced with overwhelming troubles or deep sorrow, remember God, the source of hope.
NOTE: Only a brief glimpse of Jeremiah’s deep and complex relationship with the LORD is explored in this post. The Book of Jeremiah and the Lamentations of Jeremiah are filled with history and spiritual lessons for all those who seek to know and worship the one true God.