Today we are praying for the country of the UAE. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of UAE by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
What does this word “Lamentations” mean? Lamentation, according to Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, is an expression of sorrow; cries of grief; the act of bewailing. The book in our Bible by the name of Lamentations is a poem of sorrow, a song of grief. This text in Lamentations is a text that I seem to gravitate to each new year…maybe because by the end of the year I have succeeded in blowing it in so many ways I could write my own lament. But also because, as I enter a new year, I need the hope that is sandwiched in the middle of this sad song. Maybe you do to…
Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah after his first book failed to make the New York Times best seller list. That first book was simply called Jeremiah. It contained warnings of judgment to come and a description of the judgment when it came. You can read a summary of that judgment in Jeremiah 52:12-30.
After the events described in Jeremiah took place, he wrote Lamentations to express what he, and Israel, were feeling. Take some time to look up and consider the following verses from Lamentations.
1. Lamentation 2:10-12
2. Lamentations 3:7-8
3. Lamentations 3:43-45
4. Lamentation 4:9-10
5. Lamentations 5:9-14
Lamentations 5:15 is a good one sentence summary of Lamentations. It says, “The joy of our hearts has ceased; Our dancing has been turned into mourning.” This is the context of Lamentations. And then, we see right here in the middle of the Lament these words in Lamentations 3:21-24. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
We see 4 big things about God in this text that are true in sorrow and pain as well as in joy and gladness.
First, we see His Loving-kindnesses in the first part of verse 22. It reads, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease.” The word is really hesed and it has been translated numerous ways into English because we don’t have a word in English for hesed. There are three basic meanings of the word, which always interact: strength, steadfastness, and love. Any understanding of the word that fails to suggest all three is inadequate.
As we face the mixed emotions of another year of past memories and a new year of future unknowns, remember this strong, steadfast love that He has for those who are His. Remember His loving-kindnesses. The prophet Isaiah promises in Isaiah 54:10, “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
We not only see God’s loving kindness, but also His never failing compassions in the latter part of verse 22 and the first part of verse 23. It reads, “For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” The writer is reminding himself that God is merciful. There is compassion and mercy in the midst of whatever we went through, or are going to go through that we don’t know about yet! The mercies of God are often hidden and hard to recognize when they are happening. But as we look back over our lives, and over the past year, don’t we see instance after instance of God being merciful to us by refusing to give us our desires…or by giving us what we did not desire at the time? As we look back a past memories and forward to future unknowns, let us rememberer that God’s compassions never fail. In fact they promote our good! Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
We see God’s loving-kindness and His never failing compassions. We also see in the latter part of verse 23 His great faithfulness. Jeremiah wrote, “Great is Your faithfulness.” God is faithful! He is faithful to His own, and He is faithful to His promises in His Word. Finally, we see His eternal sufficiency as well in verse 24. It reads, “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, Therefore I have hope in Him.” Is the Lord your portion? Is He your satisfaction? He is the end of our search, not the means to some further end. You do not reduce God down to a key that unlocks a treasure chest of gold and silver. No. He is your treasure. He is your portion forever.
Remember all of the time, but especially in the hard times, that He is your portion. Your property is not your portion. Your paycheck is not your portion. Your health is not your portion. HE is your portion! The Psalmist says in Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
God in his loving kindness, never ending compassion, in his faithfulness is the God of new beginnings! He has granted us another year on this earth in his mercy. He has granted us a new year, a new beginning, in his grace. I want to encourage you to take advantage of this new year, by making and keeping some new year’s resolutions. We will begin looking at some suggestions tomorrow!