But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 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 him.”
These verses are quoted often. To encourage. To give hope. To remind.
If you read the entire book of Lamentations or at least all of Chapter 3 you’ll understand better the power of the words. They were written by a man who’d seen dark days. Weighed down by chains, torn apart, mangled, and cowered in ashes are some of the ways he described the suffering. The saddest words are these: “I have forgotten what happiness is. My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”
“But this I call to mind….” Another version of the Bible uses the word yet instead of but to begin the sentence. Either way, the man remembers. And the remembering gives him clearer vision. Then he keeps remembering other things like, God’s forever love and His never ending mercies. He recalls God’s faithfulness and because of all the remembering the man has renewed hope.
This man who felt enveloped in darkness with teeth broken by gravel. This man who complained about being taunted and filled with bitterness is filled with hope and proclaims the goodness of the Lord.
I think the way the author remembered the steadfast love, faithfulness and mercies of God is by looking back at his own story and others too. Maybe it was a small thing or a life-changing event. But he remembered something good. Maybe it was something tragic but something good came from it. Perhaps he remembered his friends or other loved ones, good times and good food. Maybe he looked at the sunrise, the lake, and the stars and remembered the Designer.
Whatever it was, the remembering was good and necessary and changed everything.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.