Yes, I know you have it bad.
Yes, you should’ve gotten that promotion, or raise, or pat on the back, or new car, or whatever.
Yes, people are mean.
No, it’s not fair.
No, God isn’t picking on you.
Yes, you can complain about it (if you must).
No, God won’t be mad.
The book of Lamentations is Jeremiah’s complaint to the Lord as he mourned the fall of Judah. It gives us insight into the soul of the prophet and an unfiltered glimpse at his personal anguish.
Before you lament your own circumstances & join Jeremiah’s pity party, you should know that:
- Jeremiah was accused of being a false prophet and a pro-Babylonian traitor (37:13).
- He was ridiculed and ignored (26:7-9), his prophecies were cut-up & burned (36:20-24).
- He was betrayed by his own family (12:6), intensely persecuted (15:15-18), plotted against (11:18-23; 18:18), beaten and imprisoned (20:2), and he faced hostility from the masses (26:10-11).
- He was thrown into a dungeon (37:16) and a cistern (38:1-13), and was locked up in the guardhouse (37:21).
- He witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem under the heavy hand of a cruel foreign regime (2 Kings 24:10-14; 39:1-10; 52:1-11), saw the destruction of the Temple (52:12-27) and tells about the bloodshed in the streets (39:6-7).
- As if that wasn’t enough, he was taken hostage by rebels and forced to live in Egypt (43:1-7).
Although Jeremiah never understood why he had to personally suffer while faithfully serving the Lord, he demonstrated fortitude of character and commitment–without compromising his faith–regardless of popular opinion, long-term persecution, and the apparent futility of his efforts.
Through it all, he clung to hope in the faithfulness of God:
Lamentations 3 (NLT)
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
Now what was that you were complaining about?