The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord. (NLT)
We may sometimes wonder if we have had our last chance, whether God has finally given up on us as we record yet another failure in our log book of memory. The people of God in Old Testament times had failed repeatedly but God would not fail them.
Jeremiah, who is the likely author of these words, recognised two realities. One was the wayward rebellion of the people and its terrible consequences. The other was the everlasting faithful mercy of God. If we ignore the first, uncomfortable reality we will never truly appreciate the second wonderful reality.
Then again, if we ignore the second reality and merely mourn our lostness we will sink in despair. It is so easy to simply focus on the darkness of our failures and neglect to see the light of God’s mercy at the end of that dark tunnel.
Each of us experiences days of gloom and a deep awareness that once again we have failed to live up to our own standards let alone God’s standards. We wonder if God has tired of us, found some more obedient and transformed Christians to get alongside.
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We need not wonder. Our straying from him is the bad news, his faithful mercy is the good news. His goodness is always greater than our badness.