It’s amazing to me that this:

He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”” (Lamentations 3:16–18, ESV)

is followed shortly by this:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21–23, ESV)

This is the metaphorical (not to mention literal–this can only have been planned) center of the book of Lamentations.  Jerusalem has been destroyed.  The people have been carried off into captivity.  The author (Jeremiah?) has just been lamenting God’s oppression of him, and then this stunning, majestic, amazing, unexpected statement.

Hope comes from calling this to mind:

The steadfast love (hesed) of the Lord never ceases [despite all appearances to the contrary], his mercies do not end, they are new every morning.

As sure as the morning comes, God’s hesed and mercy comes also, even when hope is all but snuffed out and “bleak” is the most optimistic description of our situation.

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