July 18 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 20-22; Acts 21:1-17
When the Splendor Is Gone
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
READ LAMENTATIONS 3:13–24
I can never recapture the splendor that was our daughter Melissa. Fading from my memory are those wonderful times when we watched her joyfully playing high school volleyball. And it’s sometimes hard to remember the shy smile of contentment that crossed her face when we were doing family activities. Her death at age seventeen dropped a curtain on the joy of her presence.
In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah’s words show he understood that the heart can be punctured. “My splendor is gone,” he said, “and all that I had hoped from the LORD” (3:18). His situation was far different from yours and mine. He had preached God’s judgment, and he saw Jerusalem defeated. The splendor was gone because he felt defeated (v. 12), isolated (v. 14), and abandoned by God (vv. 15-20).
But that’s not the end of his story. Light shined through. Jeremiah, burdened and broken, stammered out “I have hope” (v. 21)—hope that comes from realizing that “because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed” (v. 22). And here is just what we need to remember when the splendor is gone: God’s “compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (vv. 22-23).
Even in our darkest days, God’s great faithfulness shines through.
By Dave Branon
REFLECT & PRAY
Thank You, Father, that You’re the God of compassion. Even while I walk through the valley of darkness, morning will follow as I remember Your compassion and Your faithfulness.
How has God encouraged you when you felt hopeless? How might He want you to use that to encourage others?
Lamentations 3 is a bit puzzling. The writer, the prophet Jeremiah, spends a considerable amount of time describing his afflictions: abandonment, broken bones, bitterness, hardship, ridicule. In verse 1 he makes it clear that he feels God is the source of his pain, that it’s God who’s caused him to suffer. Yet despite all these afflictions he has hope because of one thing—God’s great love. “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (3:22). This is an incredible affirmation! The man who feels he’s been crushed by God says that he’s not consumed because of His compassion! God’s love can’t be understood by our circumstances alone. His compassion saves us and preserves us, not from all harm but from being completely consumed. J.R. Hudberg