Discover the Book – January 12

Lamentations Says to Worship Our God of Hope

The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!”
-Lamentations 3:24, emphasis added

Lamentations was written by Jeremiah. As he sat down and looked over the smoldering ruins of his beloved Jerusalem, his voice rose to the wail of sorrow, a lament. That is why the book is called Lamentations, which was a funeral dirge over the City of God. Inspired by the Spirit of God, this serves as a message of encouragement that the next time things crash and burn in your life and your whole world is falling apart-family, health, finances, emotions–look to God as the God of hope!

The theme of Lamentations and this middle chapter agree: “Great is Your faithfulness, almighty God!” The Lord taught Jeremiah that no matter how the world was falling apart, personally or nationally, he could still hope in God. And that is why we can find living hope for the end of days!

For an even clearer picture, let’s go back to where we started in Lamentations. Meet Jeremiah. With his life in shambles–his friends all dead, and the smoke and stench of destruction all around everything he had ever held dear–Jeremiah wrote the poem that explains the pathway of hope.

The Pathway of Hope: Have you ever felt that life was too painful to even go on? Jeremiah did, and without the benefits and blessings we have in this church age. He persevered with living hope in the midst of that pain. In Lamentations 3, we can see the pains God uses, manages, allows, and, most of all, handles for us. Note how Jeremiah trusted and endured through the pain of these stresses.

  • Broken physical health:He has aged my flesh and my skin, and broken my bones (v. 4).
  • Deep emotional strain: He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe (v. 5).
  • Periods of dark depression: He has set me in dark places like the dead of long ago (v. 6).
  • Desperation and the burden of being trapped: He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy (v. 7).
  • Feeling out of touch and distant from God: Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer (v. 8).
  • Frustration and confusion: He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked (v. 9).
  • Anxiety and sadness: You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity (v. 17).
  • Physical weakness and hopelessness: And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord” (v. 18).
  • Bitter affliction and aimlessness:Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall (v. 19).

If Jeremiah were to stop with verse 19, we might feel discouraged as we face our own trials. But his list of woes actually crescendoed until it broke forth into overflowing hope in verses 21-26. After praising God for His daily compassions and great faithfulness, Jeremiah testified: The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (vv. 25-26, emphasis added).

What a God we serve! Just as He offers hope in Lamentations, allow Him to be what you need to make it through life on a hopeless earth. As we speed toward the end of days, God offers living hope to each of His children. Let Him weave your weaknesses, like fragile fibers, in with the countless strands of His promises. Let Him stretch and twist you into waiting hope. And then, when troubles increase, let Him bring you a fresh portion of His hope and goodness as you wait enduringly with hope in Christ.

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Daily Journey – January 12

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January 12

Job 18Matthew 7:24-29

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:25-27)

Why should we desire to preserve the body when the soul has gone? What vain attempts men have made with coffins of lead, and wrappings of myrrh and frankincense. The embalming of the Egyptians, those master robbers of the worm, what has it done? It has served to keep some poor shriveled lumps of mortality above ground to be sold for curiosities, to be dragged away to foreign climes, and stared upon by thoughtless eyes. No, let the dust go, the sooner it dissolves the better. And what matters it how it goes! If it be devoured of beasts, if it be swallowed up in the sea and become food for fishes! What, if plants with their roots suck up the particles!… What, if the winds blow it along the highway! What, if the rivers carry it to the waves of the ocean! It is ordained that somehow or other it must be all separated—”dust to dust, ashes to ashes.” It is part of the decree that it should all perish. The worms or some other agents of destruction must destroy this body. Do not seek to avoid what God has purposed; do not look upon it as a gloomy thing. Regard it as a necessity; nay more, view it as the platform of a miracle, the lofty stage of resurrection, since Jesus shall surely raise again from the dead the particles of this body, however divided from one another. We have heard of miracles, but what a miracle is the resurrection! All the miracles of Scripture, yea even those wrought by Christ, are small compared with this. The philosopher says, “How is it possible that God shall hunt out every particle of the human frame?” He can do it: He has but to speak the word, and every single atom, though it may have traveled thousands of leagues, though it may have been blown as dust across the desert, and anon have fallen upon the bosom of the sea, and then have descended into the depths thereof to be cast up on a desolate shore,… I say that individual atom shall find its fellows, and the whole company of particles at the trump of the archangel shall travel to their appointed place, and the body, the very body which was laid in the ground, shall rise again. (C. H. Spurgeon, Treasury of the Old Testament, Vol. 2, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1962), p. 260)

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Are You Willing to Yield to God? – Love Worth Finding – January 12

Are You Willing to Yield to God?

JANUARY 12

Thus says the Lord: “Go and get a potter’s earthen flask…. Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot be made whole again. … Behold, I will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.’” Jeremiah 19:1, 10-11, 15

When you say, “I’m not going to yield to God,” you are the clay God is describing here in the book of Jeremiah. Clay that was once soft and pliable has now dried and hardened. It cannot be reshaped. It can only be thrown away without being broken and turned into clay again.

There is genuine peril in a life that rebels against God. Some people, when they realize their hidden impurities and stubborn resistance to God, are willing to be broken. They say, “Here I am Lord. I yield myself to you. I repent. Take me, make me, mold me. Give me a new start.” And God will.

On the other hand, you can say, “It’s my life. I’m going to live it the way I want to.  I’m not going to yield.” That’s your privilege.  But if you do that, you’ll be hardened in that position, and once the clay is hardened, the Potter cannot remold it. He cannot remake it.

God offers a second chance. When you read the Bible, you find it’s full of people God gave a second chance to. But always, always they were pliable. They were willing to yield to Him. Search your heart. Are you pliable?

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org

You can also listen to Adrian Rogers at OnePlace.com.

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VERSE OF THE DAY

Monday, January 12

Ephesians 4:22-24 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Read Ephesians 4