Saturday, December 29, 2018

December 29 - Lamentations 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Lamentations 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today’s passage opens with several vivid descriptions of the sufferings the author has gone through: broken bones (see verse 4), being torn to pieces (see verse 11), made fun of (see verse 14), and stripped of peace (see verse 17).
  • Yet in the midst of his grieving, the author continues to hope in God because the Lord is compassionate, merciful, and loving. Those who submit to the Lord and wait patiently can trust that God will not abandon them. The people are reminded to recognize that God is in control (see verse 37-38), to be honest with themselves about the choices they have made leading up to this painful period, and to ask for forgiveness.
  • The chapter ends with a prayer for deliverance, crying out to God with the faith that he has responded to prayers for help in previous troubled times (see verse 55-57) and asking that the enemies of the people would be judged for their words and actions against the people of Israel.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In the midst of pain and suffering, it is important to know that God is always merciful, always faithful, and always loving. His discipline is just and is intended to produce a life that is genuine and right behavior. Trusting God may not come easily and in this passage he shows us that one of the best things we can do is to talk to him. Even when we are hurting, we should turn to him and be open and honest with him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Self-discipline is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks to face on a daily basis but it also holds tremendous benefits: it improves your ability in self-examination, toughens you against despair, and teaches patience and humility. Although you hold final accountability for the level of discipline in your life, God wants to help you improve. Today, take a moment and talk to God. Tell him the areas where you feel weakness and ask him to give you strength for today to make the right choices.