“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.” – Lamentations 3:21-25 (ESV)
At Christmas time we might hear and say much about “peace” and “joy” and experience great happiness. But not always. Not for everyone. Christmas time can also be a very difficult time for many. Who we celebrate and what we remember at Christmas is the birth of Jesus who was born in Bethlehem and lived there for maybe two years or more. The birth of Jesus, who is the Christ (Messiah) was the fulfillment of prophecies given by God to prophets, whose stories are written in the books of the Old Testament. Jeremiah was one of those prophets. Today’s verse, found right in the middle of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. He states clearly his reason for hope in the middle of his sorrow over the destruction, captivity, and exile of Judah. He calls to mind the lovingkindness, the mercies, the faithfulness of God. He declares that God is enough – his portion – and the reason for Jeremiah’s hope. Then the promise for us, that the LORD, is good to those who wait and seek him. Today, whatever our circumstances or memories, let’s seek Him while we wait and find in His word His goodness. It will give us hope also.
“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!” Lamentations 2:19 (ESV)
For the final visit on this blog for this year, we are sharing some words and thoughts from “365 Days with C.H. Spurgeon.” Slightly modified for our time this is from Spurgeon’s watchnight sermon on New Year’s Eve 1855.
“Dear friends, may grace be given unto us, that we may be able to pour out our hearts this night! Remember, my hearers, it may seem a light thing for us to assemble tonight at such an hour, but listen for one moment to the ticking of that clock! It is the beating of the pulse of eternity. We hear the ticking of that clock! Each time the clock ticks, death’s footsteps are falling on the ground close behind us. We will soon enter another year. This year will be gone in a few moments. 1855 (2020) is almost gone; where will the next year be spent, my friends? One has been spent on earth; where will we spend the next? But do we know how to estimate our time, my hearers? Do we know how to measure our days? Do we know that every hour we are nearing the tomb? That every hour we are nearing judgment? We do not live stationary lives, but we are always going on, on, on, towards the grave. Do you know where the stream of life is hastening some of you? We who have harkened to the call of God know where we are to be. What shall the end of those be who obey not the gospel of God? We will not have so many years to live as we had last year!”
Spurgeon must have the last word: “Now, my friends, in the highest and best sense, I wish you all a happy New Year.”