By Claire Greenwood, reprinted from the Salt & Light Australia Daily Devotional.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘ therefore I will hope in himLamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)
Everyone was looking forward to the new year of 2021, a fresh start and mentally a chance to forget the turmoil of last year. I certainly felt the same. The built up on anxiety, worrying about the virus, washing hands, staying at home for so long, wearing masks and keeping a distance took its toll on everyone.
Yet here we are, experiencing more lockdowns, more cases and hysteria by the news – not the fresh start we were all hoping for.
I don’t blame you for wanting to hit ‘restart’ again. As a new mum, my days can feel like a never ending cycle of feeding, cooking, cleaning, playing, walking, tidying up, repeating simple words ten times. When I don’t get enough sleep (rather than get to bed early we have got hooked on a Netflix series) the same overwhelming feelings arise. Yet today I want to remind you…
But his mercies are new every morning.
These verses from Lamentations stilled my mind and heart as I took some extra breaths and repeated them myself. These are words you can confidently cling to in these times of uncertainty. These are the same ones proclaimed over God’s people when they were desperately in need of hope and claiming that our great God is in control. They come at the end of Lamentations after Jeremiah mourns the destruction of Jerusalem. The book shares many many defeats and the people must have felt like giving up, just like some of us feel today. Yet God knows and reminds them to maintain hope.
Such simple words but important ones that highlight three aspects of Gods character I want you to dwell on today – his love, his mercy and his faithfulness. Meditate on them – his abounding love for you that made you, his mercies to restore you never ever end and never quit. See how they repeat themselves in what is called parallelism. Look at verse 22:
- Verse 22a: never cease
- Verse 22b: never come to an end
- And in v23a: new every morning
As you go to bed tired, mind exhausted, muscles aching, heart depleted, remember these verses, and the fact God wants you know he means them – why else would he emphasize them through repetition!! God loves you so much he will restore your body, mind and soul for a fresh start every morning. This is God’s mercy in action. God renews you, refreshes and never quits. His love never stops, so don’t give up on the hope he promises for his children. Your faithfulness will be rewarded.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand.Isaiah 41:10
The Lord is your fresh start every morning. He is by your side as you get out of bed ready to tackle the day. He restores you to face whatever will come your way today, and for every day the sun gets up, even if they are all tough! So when your day feels like a marathon, remember he will give you a fresh start with what you need for the day, so:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16
This has been more important and challenging recently, the Pandemic and partisan political talk.