Devotion for April 16, 2024

“He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead … And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers.” (Lamentations 3:4-6, 8, NLT)

We all go through a time when our lives seem to be falling apart. We lose our jobs. A relationship falls apart. Someone dies. Our health takes a turn for the worse. In those times, we’re tempted to think God has abandoned us — but He hasn’t.

The prophet Jeremiah was in the same boat when he wrote the book of Lamentations. His country, Judah, endured an economic tailspin and was terrorized by a foreign enemy. He witnessed incredible inhumanities committed against his people. People were out of work and starving to death.

Where did Jeremiah start? He told God how he felt: “[God] has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead … And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers” (Lamentations 3:4-6, 8, NLT).

Jeremiah felt like God had forgotten him. But Jeremiah didn’t ignore what he was feeling. He didn’t sugarcoat the situation. He told God what was on his heart. In fact, Jeremiah spent five chapters telling God what he thought about the situation. He told God, “This stinks!”

Why would God put that kind of passage in the Bible? He wants you to know that He can handle your anger, your gripes, and your grief. Jeremiah spends an entire book of the Bible blowing off steam. If God was big enough to handle Jeremiah’s pain, then He’s big enough to handle yours too.

If you swallow your emotions, then you just hurt yourself. Your stomach will keep score! Instead, unload your emotions on God.

When my kids were little, they’d throw temper tantrums, but that didn’t make me love them any less. It reminded me that my kids were immature. They didn’t know what I knew. God doesn’t love you any less when you throw a temper tantrum. He doesn’t owe you an explanation, but He is never afraid of what you have to say.

Prayer

Lord, my eyes look to You all the day for my strength. When my challenges are many, increase my faith in the promises You have made, and let me sing Your praises all the day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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