Words of Divine Comfort

Posted on May 20, 2020

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The Depths of Despair
The Book of Lamentations is precisely what its title implies: A book of lament.

lamentations

Though the author cannot be precisely identified, most Bible scholars believe it is the prophet Jeremiah. I concur. The Book of Lamentations is the account of Jeremiah’s despair, heartbreak, and grief over the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

The book begins this way: “How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave” (1:1). Speaking as the voice of his people, Jeremiah responds to Jerusalem’s fallen status: “This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.”

The bulk of the five chapters of Lamentations echo these two excerpts. Because of this, you may find it surprising that one of the most exalted biblical passages of divine comfort is found in it. Let’s see what it is.

The Soothing Promise
Just about smack dab in the middle of Lamentations is Chapter 3, verses 19-24. In the midst of his gloom, it is as if Jeremiah stops, takes a deep breath, and gathers his wits. He reminds himself that it is God who is in control of Jerusalem, not the Babylonians. And with this assurance firmly ensconced in his heart and mind, he utters one of the greatest passages of divine comfort to be found in all of Scripture:

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

comfort

Such a soothing promise from the Lord in the worst of times!

Divine Comfort Indeed!
I remember reading this passage way back in early 1987 – shortly after I gave my life to Christ – during what still is, all these years later, the lowest time of my life. It proved to be a heart-rejuvenating dose of divine comfort back then, and it continues to be so today.

How are things going with you? Do you need a generous serving of divine comfort? If so, find this Old Testament gem and consume it a few times. Its promise of healing and comfort could be just the lift you need to get you through this day, and the next, and the next …

May the Lord bless you in your time of sadness.