Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”
One of the most encouraging passages in the entire Bible is tucked away in a little Bible "closet" where most people miss it completely. The reason is that the "door," the title of the book, seems very discouraging to even look at, like it says, "Don't read me! I'm nothing but bad news!" It's Jeremiah's second volume, "Lamentations of Jeremiah." It makes one wonder why God let it get into the Bible. Who enjoys sad lamentations?
But wait! Right there in the middle of this biblical desert we come across this almost incredibly beautiful melody of truth (forgive me for mixing my metaphors): chapter 3, verses 22-36. "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness" (KJV; right there are the seed thoughts of one of the grandest hymns in the English language).
We read further that most blessed is the person who has known disappointment and sorrow in his or her youth: "It is good that [a person] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for [a person] that [he or she] bear the yoke in ... youth." Even being "lonely" turns out to have been a blessing (vss. 26-28). And almost incredibly, biting the dust when you're young becomes a good experience (vs. 29).
Right there in the most humiliating depth of experience the minor key changes to major, and the clouds part as sunshine breaks through: "The Lord will not cast off forever: but though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. ... to turn aside the right of a [person] before the face of the most High, to subvert [one] in his cause, the Lord approveth not" (vss. 31-36).
Painful? Yes, but O the blessed fruit that such "chastening of the Lord" brings! It saves us from the pitiful arrogance and pride that "uneducated" people get in to. If you have been blessed with that disciplinary "education," be very happy!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 27, 1999.
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