Down But Not Out: Lamentations 3:22-24

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.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)

The faithful love of the Lord  never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord  is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT)

 

Here we are in week 5 of the Proverbs 31 “Made To Crave” Online Bible Study! Im on week 3 of the couch-to-5k program, making my goal of at least 10k steps a day using my fitbit, pretty much drinking just water (though Velentine’s Day threw me off a bit) and FINALLY my energy level is rising! YAY!!! Finally finding a balance between “mommy needs to eat healthy” and “boys don’t.” 

Lets dive-in to this week’s passage mentioned above…

Now, I love dissecting verses (the proper term is exegesis) but I won’t consume you with all of the interesting facts. However, let me entice you with a few pointers – 

– This passage is the climax (most emphasized portion) of Lamentations

– The book was originally written after the Babylonians seized Jerusalem – Gods Holy city (if you were fortunate to live during this time, you lived in horrific circumstances under the Babylonian oppression) 

A few key verses I found that describes the state of living…

Jerusalem’s gates have sunk into the ground. He has smashed their locks and bars. Her kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands; her law has ceased to exist. Her prophets receive no more visions from the L ord . The leaders of beautiful Jerusalem sit on the ground in silence. They are clothed in burlap and throw dust on their heads. The young women of Jerusalem hang their heads in shame. I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken. My spirit is poured out in agony as I see the desperate plight of my people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets. They cry out to their mothers, “We need food and drink!” Their lives ebb away in the streets like the life of a warrior wounded in battle. They gasp for life as they collapse in their mothers’ arms. (Lamentations 2:9-12 NLT)

In other words…life was over for these promised children of God. Their prized city was demolished. The temple was rubble. Leaders killed. Families separated. Children dying. No food. No water. No shelter. No hope.

And you thought your day was headed downhill. 

Have you ever lost hope? I’m not talking about simply having a bad day or wrestling with internal temporary struggles. No friends…I am talking about crouching into the shape of a ball, head drenched with tears, hands trembling and fighting to simply make it through the day. I’m talking about waking-up in the morning and cursing God for making you live another day. I’m talking about living every moment with the fear of uncertainty, the inability to trust anyone around you…even the feeling that you are becoming alienated from God. 

I’ve been there…but more about that later…

Circumstances in life can lead us down this road. By starting from the beginning of Lamentations, your heart sinks for these people. The writer expresses their pain and suffering so vividly…it’s really hard to read, let alone really comprehend. 

No…you really don’t understand where the writer was coming from. Trust me. Why? Because even though these people and this writer were going through what many may define as hell on earth, together, we see hope. 

The faithful love of the Lord  never ends! His mercies never cease.

SERIOUSLY?! In the midst of devastation the writer finds hope. The writer does not define Gods love by looking at the current circumstances. He defines Gods love through His promises. 

Let me repeat that one more time here…(I need repetition!)

The writer does not define Gods love by looking at the current circumstances (devastation, destruction, separation, death). He defines Gods love through His promises (the writer knows Who wins in the end and that he is never alone). 

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Regardless of the trouble, pain, suffering, heartbreak or loss that occurred yesterday, the writer has an active relationship with God. He starts each day new in Him and with Him. God gives him hope. God is his hope. The writer chooses to live life to the full in Gods love. Wow…

 I say to myself, “The Lord  is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

For the writer, God is enough. 

Let that sink in just a bit…

The writer isn’t saying…

The Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will hope He reunites my family.

No.

The Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will hope He destroys the Babylonians.

No.

The Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will hope He gives us food to eat tomorrow.

No.

The Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will hope He returns now. 

No.

Now, don’t believe for a second that I’m saying the writer was happy, skipping along singing “Overcomer” in the streets. No…quite the contrary. I’m sure he felt pain. I’m sure he felt sorrow. He had to feel loss. He must have felt alone even if he knew he wasn’t. 

Yet, friends…he had JOY. Joy is not happiness. 

Happiness is the result of a circumstance or event. 

Joy is the ability to rest in confidence in the promises of God. 

Joy can only be found through the hope we have in Christ…period. 

Do you have joy? 


I thought I’d share a video I made (scroll below) a few years ago showcasing a few pictures I took during my battle with cancer. I’m now in full remission, but I’ll never forget how true the reality of this lesson of happiness verses joy came and pretty much smacked me across the face. It wasn’t truthfully until much later that I discovered the joy in this trial. 

Friends, if you are going through your own hell on earth right now, let me give you a glimpse into my little world through this video. The song my oldest son and I sing at the beginning and the end of this video was the song I continue to sing to him at bedtime. Even with a bald head, lying in bed next to my oldest kiddo, I would sing Joshua 1:9…scared, shaking, fighting back tears…but you know what? 

The faithful love of the Lord  never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord  is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT) 

Love y’all! Thanks for reading and watching! Live with JOY this week and live like you know WHO your Abba Daddy is!!! 

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

22 thoughts on “Down But Not Out: Lamentations 3:22-24

  1. Wow!! Am speechless after watching your video. What a smile The Lord has given you. I had so many things I wanted to say but after watching your video I’ve forgot 🙂 I opened my email this morning before I got out of bed and clicked on your post and all I saw was -DOWN BUT NOT OUT! I couldn’t believe it those very words were given to me by our youth Pastor a few years ago. He knew nothing of my situation and he just said God had told him to tell me. thank you for reminding me of them again today. I loved this post so much I took notes so I will always remember the joy of The Lord is our strength. God Bless you xxx

  2. Wow!! Am speechless after watching your video. What a smile The Lord has given you. I had so many things I wanted to say but after watching your video I’ve forgot 🙂 I opened my email this morning before I got out of bed and clicked on your post and all I saw was -DOWN BUT NOT OUT! I couldn’t believe it those very words were given to me by our youth Pastor a few years ago. He knew nothing of my situation and he just said God had told him to tell me. thank you for reminding me of them again today. I loved this post so much I took notes so I will always remember the joy of The Lord is our strength. God Bless you xxx

  3. Bethany,
    You must know that you were born to be a blessing and an inspiration to others and I believe that we are only a minute part of whom you will impact with your teaching and your life experiences. Your video and the song touched me deeply and although our experience is not the same, I have learned how to have joy and peace in the midst of great sorrow because our Abba Father was with me. On September 26, 2012, we lost our 27 year old daughter, Erika who was hit and killed by a car as she was walking back home. She was the mother of our two beautiful grandchildren, Kirsean(7 yr old grandson) and Aeriyana(5 yr old granddaughter) and all I can say is if it were not for His faithfulness, I would not be writing this response to your blog. Bur because of His mercy and grace, I am alive and I have peace knowing that one day we will be reunited forever. I am going to save this post so that I will be able to re-read it over again. Thank you for sharing your journey and your inspired words with us and you may exegete the scriptures any time you so desire. I like digging deep like that!!!!

  4. Bethany,
    You must know that you were born to be a blessing and an inspiration to others and I believe that we are only a minute part of whom you will impact with your teaching and your life experiences. Your video and the song touched me deeply and although our experience is not the same, I have learned how to have joy and peace in the midst of great sorrow because our Abba Father was with me. On September 26, 2012, we lost our 27 year old daughter, Erika who was hit and killed by a car as she was walking back home. She was the mother of our two beautiful grandchildren, Kirsean(7 yr old grandson) and Aeriyana(5 yr old granddaughter) and all I can say is if it were not for His faithfulness, I would not be writing this response to your blog. Bur because of His mercy and grace, I am alive and I have peace knowing that one day we will be reunited forever. I am going to save this post so that I will be able to re-read it over again. Thank you for sharing your journey and your inspired words with us and you may exegete the scriptures any time you so desire. I like digging deep like that!!!!

  5. Thanks for the encouraging words! Joy truly isn’t based on our circumstances. With the right focus – on God and His promises – we can experience joy no matter what is going on around us.

  6. Thanks for the encouraging words! Joy truly isn’t based on our circumstances. With the right focus – on God and His promises – we can experience joy no matter what is going on around us.

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