Three Thoughts for the New Year
Jeremiah was standing in the middle of a mess. Jerusalem was sacked and burned to the ground and its people, along with Jeremiah, had been carried into captivity. What was there to look forward to? The future looked pretty bleak. But in the midst of his troubles, Jeremiah turns from his situation to the character of God. Even in the midst of such terrible circumstances Jeremiah realizes his way to move forward, his way to assess the situation, is to focus on the one who never changes – the
Lord. "The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT).
He turns first to God’s love – His hesed love – His covenant love with His people. He says, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends….” As Paul says, “nothing can separate us from His love.” In the midst of our challenges, in the midst of our struggles, in the midst of our disappointments, remember a love that never ends - His hesed His covenant love. The world can throw its worst at us but, in the end, God’s love will never leave us and God’s love will ultimately triumph. Remember the old illustration: God does not pay all His accounts in October. Focus on His love. Study His love. Live His love. Look forward to His love because “it is a love that will never end.”
And secondly, “His mercies never cease.” They are like a water tap that you cannot get to completely shut off – the drips keep coming and coming – “they never end.” Mercy is “compassion” and “love” shown to those who do nothing to deserve it. It is unconditional. Although we often blow it, God comes to us “afresh each morning” and tells us we are His and beacons us to follow Him. To “take up our cross and follow Him”, to be yoked with Him and let Him lead. It is a daily process, like the manna in the wilderness. His grace will be sufficient for that day.
“Great is His faithfulness.” He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end and He will never “leave us or forsake us.” God is the faithful one.
Three thoughts to carry into the New Year and with you each day:
1. Think about His covenant love that will never end
2. Think about His mercies afresh and anew each day
3. Think about His great faithfulness He will always be there for you
May God bless you – Pastor Ralph