The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Have you ever awakened, your heart full of joy and anticipation of an amazing day? And those words simply overflow from your heart and roll off your tongue?
There’s nothing better than the joy of the Lord spilling out of your heart. Those days where my heart is overwhelmed with the goodness of the Lord are so precious, so beautiful.
But have you stopped to look at the context of this passage? Let’s look at some of the preceding verses:
I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger. Lamentations 3:1
He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. Lamentations 3:3
He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. Lamentations 3:5
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains. And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers. Lamentations 3:7-8
He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink. Lamentations 3:15
Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. Lamentations 3:17
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. Lamentations 3:18-19
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Lamentations 3:20
Most scholars agree that the book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah shortly after the fall of Jerusalem. It was a dark period in Israel’s history, a time of sadness and great suffering.
And yet, Jeremiah still hoped, remembering the faithfulness of His God. His heart overflowed with God’s mercies each day. Despite his circumstances, He rejoiced in the goodness of God!
Doesn’t that change the way you see this famous passage? So often we sing those words, proclaiming His goodness and faithfulness when life is good. But when life is hard? Can we still proclaim His mercies new each morning?
God has really been pounding these thoughts into my mind over the last two months. My life is hard right now. We have suffered an untimely death in our lives. And with this death, we lost the hope of a beautiful future, a future of relationships restored.
And yet, God was preparing me for what was coming. Just a week before this sudden death, I happened across Hosea 6. The words pierced my soul.
He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. Hosea 6:1
God shouted at me, “You can’t experience my healing if you have never been injured!”
It seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now. I find myself looking at the pain around me, the darkness that engulfs our lives. And I rejoice! I have learned that if we never experienced the pain and darkness, God would never have opportunity to show His great love to us.
I have seen it as I’ve walked this journey with my Savior. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up with joy and expectation and to sing praises to God. But how much sweeter to find joy and peace in the midst of my pain. How much more precious is His love during those times of anguish and bitterness of soul. How much greater our testimony to the world around us to walk through the pain of this life proclaiming the goodness of our Father.
As I look back over my life, I treasure the painful times. The time when I ran from Him in my anger and disappointment and He pursued me relentlessly until I surrendered. The time when I suffered through the painful rejection of my husband and He scooped me up and loved me when I felt unlovable. The time when I suffered through financial devastation and He lovingly cared for my every need. The time when I thought my life was over and He restored me and gave me far more than I ever could have imagined.
Those are the times I knew the goodness of my Father, the times of immense pain. Those are the times when I saw my faith grow, through the painful trials of this life. Those are the times when I was forever changed, when I saw the goodness of my Father.
And those are the times that give me the confidence in my Savior to proclaim, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
I have learned that when life gets hard, I can know His goodness and His grace.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for the trials of this life, for the hard times. I thank you for allowing us to be broken so you can heal us. I thank you for the injuries we experience so you can bandage our wounds. I thank you that even in the midst of our greatest pain, we can know that your faithfulness never ends, that your mercies are new every morning. May your praise ever be on my lips for great is your faithfulness!
Dena Johnson is a busy single mom of three amazing kids. Her greatest desire is to use her darkest days—days marred by adultery and divorce—to encourage others to find the joy of a life restored by Jesus Christ.
Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization with a mission of bringing hope to lives broken by the pain of this world. Her first book, Picking Up the Pieces: Rebuilding Your Life After the Storms of Adultery and Divorce, will be released later this year.
In her spare time, Dena works as a Registered Nurse and is a regular contributor at Crosswalk.com. If you would like to contact Dena, please feel free to interact with her on her blog Dena Johnson Ministries or email her at Dena@denajohnson.com.
Publication date: July 15, 2016