I was reminded by Dan reading Lamentations Chapter 3 at the start of our service on Sunday of a time when I exchanged a few emails with a guy who was very depressed about his situation.
I sent him the words from Lam 3 verses 21-23
I Especially like ‘they are new every morning’, like a ‘lets wipe the slate clean’ type of thing, no matter what you have done there is always new hope tomorrow.
I sent him those words because his earlier message focused on Psalm 88, which is probably the most depressing and negative psalm of the 150.
But psalm 88 is followed by 89. What is the main theme of Psalm 89?
It tells us that God’s faithfulness flows from his character, that heaven is the ultimate display of God’s faithfulness, and that he will never betray his Word under any circumstances
Thomas Obadiah Chishoim during his lifetime he wrote over 1200 poems. In 1923 he sent a batch of poems to William Runyan, a musician serving at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
Mr. Runyan was so impressed by one poem in particular that he decided to set it to music. He published it privately, little knowing that it would become one of the most loved hymns of the 20th century.
Thomas Chisholm wrote in 1941:-
My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years, which has followed me until now.
Although, I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that he has given me many wonderful displays of his providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.
Such should be the testimony of every child of God.
The hymn he wrote is based on those verses from Lamentations 3, many know the words by heart. He simply called it “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
It’s a song we often sing at moments when we have experienced God’s blessings. We sing it at weddings, celebrations, and at the end of a year as we look back and see how God’s hand led us day by day.
This hymn, which has so encouraged God’s people is based on a text written during one of Israel’s lowest moments.
Written by Jeremiah as he sat among the ashes of a destroyed Jerusalem, his mood is bleak, his words dark and angry.
For most of the book, there is barely a word of hope.
There in the middle, light bursts through. What a challenge this is to all of us.
It is one thing to sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” when all is well but not so easy when things seem dark and desperate.
This passage is not an answer to the mysteries of life. It is simply a word about the Lord.
A word that declares that he is our hope in the midst of hopelessness. He is our light when all around is darkness.
He is our reason for going on when we would rather give up.
Romans 5:6-8 speaks of Christ dying for us, while we were “yet” sinners.
And how important to us all is that word -YET
Not just that we were sinners once upon a time, but even though we are saved, we are still sinners desperately in need of grace.
God lavishes his grace on us day after day after day, in fact as Jeremiah realized “They (his mercies) are new every morning”
Verses 22 and 23 contain four phrases. Each one raises and answers an important question that we need to consider.
1. Why doesn’t God destroy me?
We all walk closer to the edge than we think. There is a thin line between disaster and prosperity, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, life and death.
Jeremiah’s answer: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (3:22a).
God loves us because He promised to love us and nothing can cause Him to break His promise.
2. How do I know God will keep on loving me? The second half of verse 22 gives the answer to this question: “for his compassions never fail.”
I want you to notice the word compassions is plural.
The word compassion literally means, “to be moved in the heart out of love for another.” God’s compassion emanates from deep within Him and floods our lives. He is moved in his heart when He thinks about you.
3. When will God give me what I need?
Verse 23a gives a word of hope for each of us to latch onto: “They are new every morning.
God’s compassions and mercies. You can never use them up.
God has been faithful to us in so many ways even when we don’t see it.
And he goes on being faithful day after day after day.
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Chorus Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!