My favorite passage in the Bible is found in the Book of Lamentations.
This book is written by the prophet Jeremiah at a time of immense national calamity for the nation of Israel. The nation is going to fall and it’s people will go into captivity in a foreign nation.
The first three chapters of the book describe a hopeless situation. Hunger, death and disease are rampant.
Judgement has come to the nation and it is deserved.
Yet in the midst of his despair for the nation Jeremiah writes the following:
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Jeremiah reminds us that, whatever our circumstances are, we can trust the inherent goodness and mercy of the Lord. We can place our hope in God.
When we place our hope in people they may fail us.
When we place our hope in our own wisdom we can be fooled.
When we place our hope in our wealth and position it can disappear.
But if we place our hope in the Lord, it is not just wishful thinking. Because we are certain that his character, his heart, his goodness – they will never disappoint us.
God is never late, but sometimes I feel like He is in a different time zone.
The problem is that I think I know when God needs to arrive to resolve my problems.
The reality is that God knows my problems better than I do.
He is not surprised, overwhelmed or unprepared for them.
But I am.
Perhaps, He delays his arrival until I am eagerly and attentively seeking him.
Maybe that was the whole point of the process- to cause me to look to him?
If it is, it works.
1. Only sick people go to the hospital.
But doctors, nurses and medical technicians are there daily.So are the cafeteria, parking and cleaning staff. Everyday, the number of healthy people at a hospital outnumber those that are treated or admitted.
2. I will get sick if I visit a hospital.
But the odds of us getting sick are actually higher in the confined space of our work cubicles.Yet, we still go to work everyday.
3. It takes a professional or specific training to make a visit to a hospital.
All it takes to visit a hospital is intentionality and availability. You come not out of duty or compulsion but because you wanted to. For these reasons your visit is highly valued by the recipient.
4. It is expensive and time consuming to make a visit to a hospital.
It will cost you the same amount of gas or parking as the mall. Most visits can be done in about 30 minutes.
5. It doesn’t matter if I do it because someone else will.
Everyone knows someone who talks about how no one visited them when they were in the hospital. You can author a different story that has a lasting impact.
1. God wrote the Bible using humans and there personalities to deliver the message.
2. God wrote the Bible and he is a big enough God to protect the message from corruption.
3. God wrote the Bible so that you could understand it. No mysterious codes. It is a straight forward easily understood message.
4. God wrote to the people in the culture they lived in. It is important to consider the context when reading.
5. God repeats ideas and concepts to stress their importance to us.
6. The Bible is about real people with real problems and real personalities.
7. Unity of the Old and New Testament should be emphasized. It is one book with one central message.