The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is thy faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence
when he has laid it on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust —
there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not
cast off for ever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. (Lamentations 3:22-33 RSV)
This beautiful passage comes in the midst of many hard, sad words. We see the compassion of the heart of God. Compassionate judgment. Mercy in many forms. Jeremiah says God does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. His mercies are fresh every morning. In the middle of his own pain, Jeremiah remembers the Lord. Behind the suffering and devastation, God is at work because of His great love. Jerusalem was heading in the wrong way and God brought destruction so that he could restore it later. In His great mercy, He planned to build it up again. “The Lord does not cast off forever; though he causes grief, he will have compassion.”