For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
~Lamentations 1:16, KJV ~
It is natural for us to enter into a state of lamentations and mourning. Doing so allows us to come to terms with where we find ourselves. Destitute, broken, and perishing in our own suffering and misery. This is no ordinary expression of sadness. To lament and mourn our present state of being – we enter into a sacred and holy grieving process. It is a spiritual turning point that we come to face the Divine and Sovereignty of God. It is through our personal lamentations and mourning that we enter into a sacred and covenanted relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is our cry of mercy and grace. A cry for forgiveness of the wrongs we’ve committed. The transgressions that weigh us down. Our lamentations and mourning is the loss of who we thought we were. It is the place of emptying ourselves out before God.
America appears to be in the beginning stages of sorrow and mourning of her once pride of liberty and freedom. And this is because of what is promised to us that if we stand, observe, and keep the commandments of God, we shall prosper in the land (2 Nephi 4:4). However, if we do not stand, observe, and keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we shall be cut off from his presence. This is what we may be witnessing today where our country and fate rests upon the fact that we are seeing evidence of many boasting in their own strengths and wisdom and causing our great nation to be cut of from God’s presence.
As Christians, how are we to be of good cheer during a season of great mourning and sorrow for our nation? How are we to stand with bold, courageous and resilient faith while the heart and spirit of American liberty and freedom is being swept away?
The message and hope is found in the Book of Lamentations written by the Prophet Jeremiah. There is not going to be a complete or understandable explanation for what we are most likely going to endure in the next few months. Maybe within the next few years. We already are seeing the silencing of certain voices, censorship on an unparalleled scale. We will be standing as witnesses to greater human suffering and sorrow that past generations may not have ever seen. Many Christians are appearing to be blindly led toward false hopes and securities with the claims that Christ’s coming is on the threshold of human history.
Yet, just as Jeremiah’s great sorrow and lamentations is connected with the destruction of First Temple Jerusalem (under the Babylonian Captivity) of 586 B.C – so too will our great suffering and lamentations be connected with the loss of potential liberty and freedom we have experienced in our land, homes, schools, and workplace.
For us who believe in our Heavenly Father’s divine grace and providence, we see suffering as a personal problem because we accept the reality that God is in control and all things work out for His good will and purpose (See Romans 8:28) because we are called to endure faithfully and rest in His care and guiding counsel.
Studying Lamentations, mindfully and prayerfully, may not bring about easy answers to our season of sorrow and suffering. Yet, it will help us rest our faith in knowing that God will still meet us in the midst thereof. It teaches us the heart and contrite humble language of prayer. It does not offer easy answers, cliche’s or inspiring quotes and messages for what we may be facing. What it does provide is:
- An orientation toward God amidst suffering, great sorrow, and a heart toward repentance
- A voice to work through the grief we may come to experience during this season
- Guidance on what we truly ought to focus our prayers on
- Focusing on our resilient and courageous bold faith in God
While those who do not share in our faith will see this time of suffering as an impersonal event where there is no meaning or purpose; we will see God’s hand, hopefully, move upon His people to focus on:
- Being of Good Cheer in the face of adversity, suffering, and sorrow
- Call to genuine contrition, repentance, and shedding of our own pride and arrogance
- Building up of our faith in Him and resting in His divine care and sovereignty
- Gaining Hope that He is the author and finisher of our faith in Jesus Christ (See Hebrews 12:2)
There is a great call for us to enter into a time of humble submission. To enter in praying and fasting. Feasting upon Christ’s words and teachings. To be of good cheer in the face of what is to come. And to fully submit ourselves over to God’s care and divine providence for personal revelation and guidance.
Therefore, going through and studying the Book of Lamentations will hopefully help us find peace and joy amidst any suffering we may experience. Reorient ourselves back toward God and stand in faith and preach repentance and humility amidst growing pride and arrogance.