Read: Lamentations 3:27-33
The Lord will not cast off forever. (v. 31)
The film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on events from the life of children’s entertainer Fred Rogers. In the story, Mister Rogers befriends a journalist who bears a lifelong grudge against his father. In spite of the son’s anger, the father keeps coming back and asking forgiveness. The father holds out hope that his son won’t be angry forever.
As the exile unfolds, the people wonder whether God will be angry forever. They’ve finally recognized the depth and impact of their sin. From a human perspective it’s inconceivable that God could forgive them; perhaps they were tempted to give up. Jeremiah commanded them to persist. God wouldn’t make them wait forever. His forgiveness was coming.
The closer we get to God, the more aware of our sin we become. Jesus teaches that a key role of the Holy Spirit is convicting us of sin (John 16:8). Fear of condemnation may tempt us to keep our distance. But God wants nothing more than to reconcile us to himself. In Exodus 34, God describes himself as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 6).In John 3:16, Jesus says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Don’t flee from the feeling of guilt your sins produce. Wait for the Lord to comfort you with his grace—freely ours through Jesus Christ.
As you pray, ask God to reassure you of his abundant mercy and love.