Lamentations 3* The faithful lament their calamities, and hope in God'smercies.1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging partof his experience, and how he found support and relief. In thetime of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was anaffliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup ofaffliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faithis often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if hethinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord. 21-36 Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophetshows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owingto the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observewhat makes for us, as well as what is against us. God'scompassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances everymorning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is aportion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort andsatisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation ofthe Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: manyhave found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has mademany humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, whootherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation workpatience, that patience will work experience, and thatexperience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of theevil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that itis of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot saywith unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, Idesire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his worddo I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive afflictionas laid upon us by the hand of God. 37-41 While there is life there is hope; and instead ofcomplaining that things are bad, we should encourage ourselveswith the hope they will be better. We are sinful men, and whatwe complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We shouldcomplain to God, and not of him. We are apt, in times ofcalamity, to reflect on other people's ways, and blame them; butour duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turnfrom evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. If inwardimpressions do not answer to outward expressions, we mock God,and deceive ourselves. 42-54 The more the prophet looked on the desolations, the morehe was grieved. Here is one word of comfort. While theycontinued weeping, they continued waiting; and neither did norwould expect relief and succour from any but the Lord. 55-66 Faith comes off conqueror, for in these verses theprophet concludes with some comfort. Prayer is the breath of thenew man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returningit in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life. Hesilenced their fears, and quieted their spirits. Thou saidst,Fear not. This was the language of God's grace, by the witnessof his Spirit with their spirits. And what are all our sorrows,compared with those of the Redeemer? He will deliver his peoplefrom every trouble, and revive his church from everypersecution. He will save believers with everlasting salvation,while his enemies perish with everlasting destruction.
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