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.
When we understand the context in which these verses appear, we see that they express a truly remarkable confidence. The book of Lamentations is a collection of five laments bewailing the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 B.C. These laments — funeral dirges, in effect — were probably used on days of public fasting to remember that dire event and mourn the fate of the city and its inhabitants, many of whom were forced into exile in Babylon.
Yet here in the midst of this book of sorrows is the powerful statement of faith that states the ground for hope. That hope is because of the “steadfast love of the Lord,” which comes to us fresh every morning.
When we say, “I hope this quarantine is over soon,” it is both a wish and a prayer. But when we say, “God gives me hope for the future,” it is confident assurance in the promises of the God who has never failed us.
Most of us hope for a long life, lasting relationships, good health, and happiness. Yet we know that in a matter of minutes life can be turned upside down and inside out, and it can feel like our hopes are squashed.
But for people of God, hope is drawn from a deeper well. As David explains throughout the Psalms, we cannot rely on our own armies and horses – our own resources- to deliver us. The beautiful image is that of the God whose eyes are locked on us, whose love never fails, who is our help and shield. God paints a positive picture of our forever future.
When our hope and trust are firmly connected to our unchangeable God, we know deep in our souls that God’s love will sustain us through this life and into eternity. This means that in the midst of our struggles, and even if our struggles return, our hope in God remains. This kind of hope is contagious! Maybe you know someone who needs to hear these words of hope today, “the Lord sees you, loves you, and will sustain you.”
In closing, hear these words from Psalm 33, as found in Nan Merrill’s book, Praying the Psalms, “Our soul yearns for the Beloved (God), for peace, joy, and assurance. Yes, our hearts are glad and sing songs of gratitude, praising the name of the Holy One! May every nation come to live in the steadfast love of the Spirit of Truth! May every people hope in Love Divine!”