Written by Alyssa Farrell
Have you ever been through a difficult situation? And no, I don’t mean “my Starbucks order came with one less shot of espresso than I asked for” kind of difficult. I mean “My child has walked away from Christ”, “I lost my job of 20 years”, “I had a miscarriage”, and “I have a chronic illness” kind of difficult.
The kind of difficulty that knocks the wind out of you and causes sleepless nights.
It’s been said, “You’re either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or about to enter a trial.” No one is immune to this. It’s the sad reality of a fallen world. We may be tempted to raise our fists at God and condemn Him as a cruel Father who dishes out the difficulty for fun.
Well, let’s take a look at scripture to see if that’s true.
Lamentations 3 is written by Jeremiah as he looks back on suffering and affliction he had been through. As a prophet, he was mistreated, called a liar, and left to die in a pit full of mud. He was ultimately rejected by the people he was sent to help. But amidst all this Jeremiah speaks this word of encouragement to us:
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” Lamentations 3:21
Hope? Even when the world seems dark? When you get that call from the doctor? When you’ve been rejected by those you love most? When you’re left to die in a cistern full of mud?
Jeremiah says yes. Why?
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22
EVERY DAY we wake up to new mercies. What is mercy? “Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
It’s definitely within God’s power to punish us, but instead, He shows mercy. Why? Because He is the very embodiment of mercy.
Do I deserve to be loved by an amazing family?
Do I deserve running water, heat, AC, or electricity?
Do I deserve the freedom to attend church and read God’s Word whenever I want to?
Do I deserve to be fully forgiven of every sin?
No. Yet, God has been merciful to even me. He is a God of mercy, and that’s what He will faithfully continue to be. This is not to say that we will never go through difficulties as children of God. A few verses later it says “But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.” Lamentations 3:32
Sometimes He puts us through seasons of difficulty to stretch us so the power of Christ can be seen in us. (John 9:3) But His mercies and compassions never leave us. They follow us ALL the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6).
Difficulties are inevitable, but so are God’s mercies. Instead of dwelling on the problem, gaze at the Savior. He never changes.