...his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning...
This passage is from Lamentations 3:22b-23a. As the title suggests, Lamentations is a book of laments, the Israelites are crying out to God following the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians (approx 587 B.C.). The chapters in Lamentations are like the Psalms, and in their original language, Hebrew, they are very poetic.
They were recited publicly on the special fast days and days of mourning. While much of the Lamentations speaks of the abandonment by God of the Hebrew people, and are therefore filled with grief and mourning, yet in this passage we get a glimpse of the hope that they cling to.
While they were in their deepest despair, they knew that God’s compassions never fail, they are new every morning. It is that understanding of God that makes their exile in Babylon bearable. No matter how bad it gets, God will one day hear their pleas, and in compassion, restore their great nation.
People today often feel abandoned by God. We live in a time where there is great wealth, whether compared to other nations or to previous generations. Yet at the same time, there is great despair and a sense of hopelessness.
The old saying, money can’t buy happiness, is apparently very true. Never before have we had so much, yet felt so bad about it.
What does buy happiness? If money doesn’t, what does? We all have an inner longing to be happy, to be fulfilled, and many spend their lives trying to find it. What is it that would bring us true happiness and fulfillment?
Solomon, the son of King David, King of Israel himself for some 40 years, searched extensively for the answer to this question. We read his findings in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone.” The book finds that everything else is “meaningless.”
How do we live a life of happiness and fulfillment? We live it in relationship to God, our creator, redeemer, and friend. In Christ, we find fulfillment, peace , comfort, joy—all the things we need to be truly happy.