God’s Word for Times Like These is a series of 10 inspirational Bible reading notes produced by Scripture Union International as the world tries to cope with the immediacy and the urgency of Covid-19. This is Part 5. In Part 4 we studied Psalm 46 and saw that God wants us to Be Still and know that He is in control.
Part 5: Preach to Your Soul
Lamentations 3:21-26 King James Version (KJV)
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord
The situation could not have been worse. Jerusalem was in ruins and Jeremiah’s people were in captivity. Pain and poverty were all around. There was much to mourn and lament about!
Yet Jeremiah deliberately stops thinking this way and focuses his thoughts in a different way. “Yet this I CALL TO MIND, and THEREFORE I have hope” (21) and he parks his restless mind on the unchanging character of God. “I SAY TO MYSELF: The Lord is my portion” (24).
We can learn from Jeremiah! Today in the midst of all the difﬁcult things we face, we can choose to focus on what we already know about our Father: that He greatly loves us, His heart goes out for us and He will never forsake us (22-23).
We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can see our circumstances in a different light, if we ﬁlter them through the truth of these verses. Sometimes we need to preach to our souls, as Jeremiah did!
A favorite verse from the Prophet Isaiah says:
40:31But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
With your family
These verses remind us that every day starts with a new beginning. And because God does not change, His lovingkindness, compassion and faithfulness are always there. This gives us HOPE in spite of what is happening around us.
Individually, or working together, write the letters from the word HOPE down one side of a piece of paper. Write some sentence prayers that begin with the letters of the word HOPE. Pray these together. Decorate the letters of HOPE and display your artwork on the wall as a constant reminder.
Challenge: Can you come up with one sentence that reﬂects the message of today’s reading where the words begin with the letters of HOPE?
Father, when we are discouraged, help us focus on who you are, and to remember that you love us! Amen