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Faithfulness Through Adversity (Lamentations 3:22-24)

June 10, 2018 Speaker: Kirk Huizenga Series: Misc. Messages

Topic: One Mission: Through Many Tribulations Passage: Lamentations 3:22–3:24

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  1. Intro – We all face adversity; it is the constant Constant

    1. Chapter 3 is uniquely situated in the masterfully crafted collection of (mostly) acrostic poems of Lamentations to show us the Why and the How of adversity

 

  1. Exposition – Lam 3:1-18

    1. The “man” (likely Jeremiah) afflicted by the “he”

      1. The “Man”

        1. A personal descent into hopelessness for the man

        2. All part of the man’s being are affected

        3. The final result is an utter lack of peace (shalom), an absence of happiness; endurance and hope have faded (Lam 3:16-18)

      2. The “He”

        1. Unidentified initially

        2. Unrelenting in his cause of afflicting (at least from the perspective of the man)

        3. Revealed as none other than the LORD/YHWH! (3:18b)

    2. The Why of Adversity

      1. The Why of Man

        1. Our adversity is a result of our own doing…or our own sin (see Lam 1 & 2)

Jer 13:22 And if you say in your heart,

‘Why have these things come upon me?’

it is for the greatness of your iniquity

that your skirts are lifted up

and you suffer violence.

        1. The adversity we face is not a result of our own sin

          1. In fact, it might be because of our righteousness

          2. Or we might not know why we are in turmoil.

        2. NT support – 1 Pet 2:20; 4:15

      1. The Why of God

        1. God is intricately and intimately involved in our sufferings and afflictions. Both the OT and NT writers hold this perspective

          1. E.g. Job

          2. E.g. 1 Peter 3:17; 4:19

        2. God “causes”, wills, or allows adversity…for his own purposes

    1. The How of Adversity

      1. The means of facing adversity is FAITHFULNESS

        1. Not our own faithfulness as if we could muster enough

        2. But, the faithfulness of the LORD/YHWH

      2. Lam 3:21-24, 31-22

21 But this I call to mind (heart),

and therefore I have hope: This is what I remember

22    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

23 they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

 

31    For the Lord will not

cast off forever,

32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion

according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33 for he does not afflict from his heart

or grieve the children of men.

 

  1. Application

    1. Why of Adversity

• It could be a result of your own doing or your own sin

I could be a result of your righteousness (or unknown)

    1. How of Adversity

If sin – humble yourself before God and ask for forgiveness

Psa. 139:23    Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

• Turn to God and throw yourself onto his mercies and his faithfulness

If other than sin, essentially the same – humble yourself, turn to God and throw yourself onto his mercies and his faithfulness

 

  1. Conclusion

    1. God himself understands adversity. Jesus was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and despised (Is 53:3). He demonstrated God’s love by suffering for our sake and salvation.

    2. There will be a day when there is no more sorrow, no more tears, no more adversity. But in the meantime, remember that God is intricately and intimately involved in your suffering….he may be causing it, willing it, or allowing it for his purposes of strengthening your faith in his Faithfulness and Unfailing Love