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Suffering changes our perspective—May 22, 2020 Bible Plan

Suffering Changes our Perspective

Suffering changes our perspective. It can hurt our perspective or heal it. In times of sorrow or times of praise, if God remains our hope, we keep our perspective fixed on Him and not our circumstances.

Sorrow Transforms our Mindset

The Greek word for Lamentations is translated “mourning, wailing, sorrow.” This book is called Lamentations because it is a book of sad poems. Jeremiah was lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet and he was devoted to God and God’s people throughout the Babylonian conquest. Suffering brought sorrow, but sorrow brought Jeremiah to God. Sorrow wakes us up to reality and sobers us up to the need for change.

Suffering Has a Purpose

Lamentations shows us what God thinks about people’s sins. Our sins reap consequences, but God is still faithful. He would be unfaithful if He did not deal with our sins. God wants us to love and obey him. Not because he is egotistical, but because that is what we were made for and when we live for Him, we are filled with joy. Living for self and sin destroys us.

How Suffering Happens

Jeremiah is asking “How” this has happened. Why this has happened. These questions are not coming from a place of questioning God’s character but lamenting and seeking to understand why and how this had all transpired. We see a vivid picture of the suffering right in the beginning of chapter one.

Why Suffering Happens

When we understand the suffering, we understand that we want to avoid that suffering. Israel got to this place of suffering by being distracted with idolatry. Jeremiah writes in the first person, taking ownership for the rebellion. Jeremiah suffered as God’s representative, faithfully sharing God’s word, and yet he identifies with the people of God in their rebellion.

Scripture of the Day

Lamentations 3:19-24

19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope  when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Summary

  • Even in times of judgment, God is our hope.
  • We can lose our perspective in suffering or gain it.
  • It’s ok to ask how and why so we can learn from our mistakes, but God is always just.
  • God is always faithful, even when we are not.
  • When God is our inheritance or our portion, we have hope. Our cup overflows.
  • Our hope cannot come from this world or any gain in this world.

Suffering can hurt our perspective or change it. In times of sorrow or times of praise, if God remains our hope, we keep our perspective fixed on Him and not our circumstances.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day 143: Lamentations

Scripture of the Day: Lamentations 3: 19-24

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Lam.1

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Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/

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