August 13, 2017

The Day the Music Stopped

Lamentations 5

The young men have stopped their music. Joy is gone from our hearts. . . .

—  Lamentations 5:14-15

Sometimes we can feel as if nothing will ever again be right in our lives. We feel beaten down and afraid to hope. Or perhaps we know that a better day is coming, and yet we are filled with despair. The music has stopped!

The book of Lamentations is a compilation of funeral songs for Jerusalem and its people after the city was destroyed by Babylon. Here the prophet Jeremiah confesses God’s sovereignty and justice, but he also can’t shake off the feeling of rejection. He cries out, “Why do you forsake us so long?”

If that is how you feel today, please know that Jesus understands. He was mocked by his enemies as he hung dying on the cross. He was forsaken by his closest friends. He even cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). But God raised him from the grave and “gave him the name that is above ­every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Because Jeremiah looked ahead to God’s promise of deliverance, he could sing with words of faith that have given believers hope through the ages: “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” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father. . . . Morning by morning new mercies I see.” Thank you, Lord! Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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