Teaching Date 11/10/21
Lamentations 3 – It’s all gone wrong!
Broken: a label, feeling, state of discouragement. Something that can creep into our lives slowly over time. Unnoticed, quiet, and consuming. It can leave us feeling completely and totally stuck. Sometimes we hear other people call us broken and we get offended but in part believe it; because we have heard it before. Other times, we get sick of a bad habit, not measuring up, or feeling like we will never achieve what we set out to accomplish. We have already seen that God can work with broken. In fact, God has used and will continue to use broken people in powerful ways. But what do we do? How do we respond? Why do I still feel stuck even when God is at work? These are tough questions and should be asked. We should not pretend that just because God used me once I will never feel this way again. In fact, even while God is in the midst of using me, I may feel this way. Beyond that, my brokenness is a major stressor. My stress causes high anxiety in my life and I find myself paralyzed. Not able to do something simple like say “Hi.” What about when my brokenness is primarily based on my depression? This cloud of darkness that has loomed over me and though there are days when I feel better, most of the time it is like I can’t escape it. Where is God in this? Why has He allowed me to suffer for so long? When will this end???????
It is amazing to think about really. To consider brokenness, anxiety, stress, depression and how God could be at work in such despair and darkness. Yet we have a promise from God in Revelation 21, “3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Of course, this is at the end of time when all evil, sin, and wickedness will be defeated for eternity. This is a promise of the future, a way for us to look forward. This is good and we can believe this, but does it help? When in the deepest darkest places of depression, does this promise help you?
1 Corinthians 4, “16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Is it helpful to you to know that these afflictions are temporary? That we are called to keep moving forward one step at a time. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will be challenged. Yes, God is going to renew you and use this affliction to refine you.
Romans 8, “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Does it help you to know that through Christ you are more than a conqueror? That if you have put your trust and faith in Him, He can help you in ways you never imagined. He can make you new, He can allow you to conquer, He can give you eternal life where depression, anxiety, stress, and worry no longer have any part in your life.
Not only will Jesus help you conquer this for eternity but He can help you now. He can teach you patience in trial. How to persevere through the struggle by leaning on His strength and power. He can help you overcome all of this. It may take time, it will take discipline, and you must be surrendered to Him. Sometimes, we ask “Why would God allow this to happen?” But we know that for any heroic story to exist, there must be trial and hardship. If everything went well and right all the time, we would never have a need to turn to God because we would just assume we can do it ourself. Yet in the pain and struggle, God reminds us of just how desperately we need Him, because He is able and we are not.
- Pray, ask God to help you lean on His strength. Ask for strength to persevere and to trust His promises. Ask Him to show you how He is making you new.
- Memorize some of these promises of scripture. Use them, to remind yourself that God has not abandoned you, but has promised you great reward if you surrender to Him, seek Him, love Him and worship Him. He loves you deeply and wants you to come to Him every day.