Now, as a middle-aged adult, I understand what they meant. I understand why they "got happy" as they sang a song. They were reflecting. They recalled the highs and lows of life, the difficulties, the struggles, the obstacles, the challenges. They remembered the trauma, heartbreak, financial struggles, family problems, health issues, and so on that God had miraculously brought them through. Life had taught them how to tap in to the hope that God would bring them through. They had learned how to trust in his mercies and had faith that they would not be consumed. They knew how to hold on to the truth of his word believing that his love never fails. They lived to tell their story and we are the better for it.
If you are facing a challenge in your life today, there is good news for you found in Lamentations 3:21. The book of Lamentations is a lament. It is a written expression of sorrow or grief. When Jeremiah wrote this book, he was in a dark place--physically and emotionally. He does not mince words in terms of the pain he was experiencing. It was looking pretty grim for him by all accounts. However, after he lays out his horrific lament, he says something so fascinating. He said, I remember some things and therefore I have hope. What things?
- It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed
- His compassions fail not, they are new every morning
- God's faithfulness is great
- The Lord is our portion
- The Lord is good to those who wait for him
This is what the saints of old understood. No matter what the situation looked like, they had enough life experience to be able to recall or remember how God brought them through in the past. They had lived long enough to have witnessed God's word at work in their lives when they were overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, worry, and darkness. Biblical truths working in tandem with their faith, enabled them to declare, "I have hope".
May I encourage you today? If you are in a tough spot, be encouraged that it will not consume you. It will get better because the mercies of God are at work in your life. If that seems too hard to grapple with right now, glean from the faith of someone in your life. Perhaps a parent, grandparent, co-worker, neighbor whom you know went through a challenging time and overcame it. There is no respect of person with God(Romans 2:11); if he did it for them, he'll do it for you!
The reality is that it is all about perspective and what we choose to focus upon, embrace, and grab hold of. Life is hard, but God is greater than any challenge we will face (I John 4:4). He has given us the tools and the capacity to traverse the ever changing terrain of life (Philippians 4:19). We are hardwired to succeed and be victorious (Philippians 4:13). Therefore we have no complaints, just a pursuit to live the full, satisfying, abundant life found only in Him (John 10:10).
Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank you for your word that is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). Thank you for the examples of our faithful and godly seniors who have modeled how to trust in your word. We honor you for them. Bless them indeed! Keep them strong, vibrant, and healthy like you did for Caleb(Joshua 14:11). For all of their toils and struggles, may their latter be greater than the former (Job 42:12). Father, help us to keep our eyes turned toward you (Hebrews 12:2). May we make the decision to choose to focus on you and not our complaints. Thank you for a filling of hope and expectation as we trust in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
"I Won't Complain"--Rev. Paul Jones (excerpt)
I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb
I've had some weary days
And some sleepless nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Out-weigh my bad days
I won't complain