Perhaps you got your hopes for a relationship with someone, but then they suddenly started acting differently and are ignoring you now. Or maybe you thought you were going to get promoted, but someone else got the position instead. Or perhaps you are just tired of being alone and you thought you would be married by now.
There are so many trials in life that make us want to lose hope.
However, by studying Lamentations 3:16-33 and applying the principles there to our own lives, we can see at least 4 reasons why God is saying, “Don’t lost hope.”
1. If the Peace You Had Was Taken Away Because It Was Rooted in Your Earthly Prosperity, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Don’t Lose Hope”
This is why we must be so careful not to put our hope in temporal things. When these earthly pleasures fade away in which we placed our hope, our hope fades away when they fade away (Matthew 6:19-21). Lamentations 3:16-18 (NIV) states:
He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.’”
Even if you hoped God would give you a blessing, if your hope is in that blessing rather than in God, your hope will not last.
2. When Your Loss Is Helping You Remember What You’ve Gained in God, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Don’t Lose Hope”
God does desire to bless us with many good things here on earth. But when these things don’t occur or they begin to vanish, the temporal pleasure which now leads to pain must remind us of the everlasting hope that can only be found in God alone. Lamentations 3:19-24 (NIV) states:
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
Through faith in Jesus Christ, God grants us grace to come into his presence and find eternal favor with him (Hebrews 4:16).
3. If You Are Alone But You Also Sense the Lord’s Presence, God Is Saying, “Don’t Lose Hope”
God has a purpose for everything, even when other people betray us and we feel alone. God doesn’t cause the sins of others, but one way he uses their sins for our good is by using this pain to draw us deeper into the enjoyment of his presence. Lamentations 3:25-30 (NIV) teaches us:
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.”
Pain is not pleasant, but it can be good for us when God uses it to help us put our full hope in him.
4. When You Are in a Hard Season, God Is Saying, “Don’t Lose Hope”
Seasons come and go. Many of you feel alone now but you won’t feel that way forever. One day God will put you with the right person. Many of you feel discouraged in your careers, but you won’t feel that way forever. God has a good plan for your finances. Many of you feel confused about an important decision. But you won’t feel that way forever. In time, God will make his will clear. Lamentations 3:31-33 explains:
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.”
Even if your struggle lasts for this lifetime, this lifetime will not last forever. Through Christ, we will spend eternity with all our hopes fulfilled in the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:20).