July 3rd, 2005


New Member
A Ray of Hope

Read Lamentations 3:22-33

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
-Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSV)

SHORTLY after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the prophet Jeremiah wrote a book of lament that we know as Lamentations. For many years, Jeremiah had warned the people of the southern kingdom of Judah to repent and turn to God. Finally, the Babylonians conquered the land and took God's people captive.

With a broken heart, Jeremiah wept over what had happened. But in the midst of his sorrow, a ray of hope sprang up. Jeremiah remembered the Lord's mercy and faithfulness. He took comfort in the knowledge that God would again show compassion toward the people. History bears this out. In time, the Persians overcame Babylon, and King Cyrus freed the people of Judah to return to their homeland.

All around us today, people carelessly ignore God's warnings. Sin and evil are at every hand. Though we may lament like Jeremiah, we, too, can hope in God. If we diligently pray and wait as Jeremiah did, God will show compassion and mercy to save us.
Janice Davies (Maryland, U.S.A.)

Dear God, we pray for your mercy on those we love who don't know you. We call on you to work in their lives and to save them. Amen.