Rev. Shirley Corley LaCour
By Rev. Shirley Corley LaCour
Minister of Worship, Bethel A.M.E. Church
Scripture Reference: Lamentations 3: 21-26
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
Jeremiah, who is known as the weeping prophet, speaks to us through Lamentations about the ‘mercies of God.’
Somebody may be going through something, coming out of something or know somebody who just can’t praise the Lord because they are caught up in some circumstance, situation or condition, crisis or drama. Somebody may be suffering and in need of the ‘mercies of God.’
Jeremiah speaks about God’s mercies, compassion and faithfulness from the standpoint of ‘been there, done that, seen that, believe that;’ with a realization that you may be going through, but it doesn’t mean that God is not with you.
Jeremiah consoles himself with God’s mercy as he looks on a nation under divine judgment from God. The word ‘mercy’ may be the most essential word in describing God’s character to us.
‘Mercy’ is His covenant compassion expressed in God’s consuming commitment to bring us into everlasting communion with Himself.
The text describes God’s mercy, which is His compassion toward us even when we deserve punishment. It describes His commitment to restore us even though we deserve to endure the consequences of sin.
Mercy is God’s covenant of love expressed at the point of our greatest foolishness. Yet, mercy is what we need in times like these.
Where grace emphasizes the freeness of God’s love toward us, mercy stresses the freeing of our lives from the misery of our disobedience.
Looking around at the troubles of the world, Jeremiah had almost given up hope, but he remembers something that restores his hope again, the mercies of God.
In Hebrew, mercy is the word ‘hesed.’ Covenant love, steadfast love linked with compassion, truth, faithfulness and goodness. For the people, everything seemed hopeless but ‘hesed’ remained. The mercies of God. It seemed like everything had been taken away, but ‘hesed’ prevailed. The mercies of God.
Today, Jeremiah helps us to understand that even in times of trial and tribulations, God’s unfailing love and mercy are constantly available to us, for the inheritance we have in God can never be taken away even if we may be taken away by some circumstance, situation, condition or crisis.
We can put our hope in God and wait patiently and quietly for salvation. The songwriter said: ‘Blessed quietness, Holy quietness, what assurance in my soul. On the stormy seas, Jesus speaks to me, and the billows cease to roll.’
Often when we are in the deep pits of sorrow or trial, it is then that faith finds its greatest expression. ‘For when in the darkness I would grope; faith always sees a stream of hope.’
God reacts to our faith. Faith equals favor, which is the mercies of God. The fires of adversity purifies our faith as the grace of God, by the mercies of God, enables us to lift our eyes from the darkness that surrounds us.
Jeremiah saw a ray of hope in all the sorrow surrounding him because he was not cut off. He recognized that the unfailing love of God never ends. Great is the faithfulness of God. His mercies begin afresh each day and God will respond with help when we ask.
Somebody else said: ‘Ask the Savior to help you, comfort strengthen and keep you. He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through.’
Jeremiah testifies of God’s faithfulness for he knows from personal experience. Been there, done that, seen this, saw that, believe it and waiting to achieve it. Trusting in God makes you confident in His Promises.
‘For His oath, His covenant, and His Blood protects me in the overwhelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is my hope and stay.’
I can’t help but praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever. When I think of the goodness of Jesus, I thank God that His mercy endures forever. When I pause to remember Christ was hung up for my hang-ups, I thank God that His mercy endures forever.
When my money is funny; and my friends are few, I Thank God that He has promised never to leave me nor forsake me because His mercy endures forever.
Therefore, I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I will bless the Lord, O my soul ,and forget not all of his benefits because His mercy endures forever.
All of my good days continue to outweigh my bad days because of the ‘mercies of God.’