Pain is a natural part of life. You can’t escape it. Broken relationships, missed opportunities, and rough seasons of life will always be with us. When they do come, you can either become bitter or hopeful.
The choice is yours.
Jeremiah faced the same choice. When his world came apart after Jerusalem was sacked in 586 B.C., the prophet wrote the book of Lamentations to share his honest frustrations with God. But he didn’t settle in his bitterness and stay there.
In Lamentations 3:21-24, after sharing his bitter feelings, he wrote, “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope” (GNT).
In the midst of a terrible situation, Jeremiah changed his perspective. It’s healthy and good for us to be honest with God about our feelings, but you have to eventually change your perspective. As long as our minds are on our pain, we won’t solve anything.
Instead, like Jeremiah, we need to recognize God’s great love for us. Jeremiah changed his perspective and recognized the enduring mercies of God. No matter what the problem, no matter how much anger you’ve spewed at God, he still loves you. It’s a constant you can depend upon — no matter what.
The longer you focus on what depresses you, the longer your depression will last. Bitterness keeps you caught in your own pain. In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah gives you a simple cure for bitterness: change how you think.
In the midst of a depressing tirade, Jeremiah says, “Yet hope returns …”
How can you have hope even in your darkest days? You remember, “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue.”
You can count on that! His mercies are as fresh as the morning and as sure as the sunrise. He is all you need. And, no matter what, “in him I put my hope.”
You’ll never know that God is all you need until he’s all you have.
Are you there yet? There’s no better place to be.
This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Dr. A. E. Wright
“I want to be all used up when I die.”
George Bernard Shaw