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devotions

God is Compassionate
By Janice M. Siedelmann
March 17, 2011


Scripture
Lamentations 3:22-23
22 Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations is not a book of the Bible one hears referenced very often. Nor does it contain scriptures we grew up with or have memorized over the years.  The author, Jeremiah wept and grieved deeply because his people had rejected their God – the God who had made them, loved them, and sought repeatedly to bless them. Jeremiah’s heart was broken because he knew that the selfishness and sinfulness of the people would bring them much suffering and extended exile.  But, in the depths of his grief, there shined a ray of hope.  Jeremiah knew that God’s compassion is ever present and His faithfulness is great.  God’s compassion was at work even when the Israelites were experiencing the afflictions of their Babylonian conquerors.  He used these afflictions to bring His people back to Him.  

Devotion
A favorite hymn of many is “Great is Thy Faithfulness” because the words speak volumes of God’s love for those of us who need to hear of his mercies made new every morning. For many of us, the hymn, like the scripture, reassures us that we shall not be consumed by any tragedy, sin, affliction or life’s circumstance.  God is with us always, even when we turn away from him.  At a time of darkness in my life, a time when I was not close to God, and suffering depression… a simple child’s song kept playing in my head.  Over, and over, and over, I heard the lyrics, “Sing, sing a song…sing out loud, and sing out strong. Sing of good things not bad, sing of happy, not sad.”   God’s compassion was at work in me even then.  His love was given in the hope of that song playing in my head… It was his will, to make me strong again. It has been over 35 years since I first experienced and recognized that kind of compassion and faithfulness; and have many times since. Without Him there is no comfort, no hope.  We all experience life’s trials, but we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank-you for your compassion. We thank you for your mercies made new every morning.  We thank-you for the many ways you speak to us…through your word and through song.   Please help us to feel and know your compassion…  Amen.

Other scripture references
Deut 4:29-31; Ex 34:6-7; Ps 103:12; Lk 15:4-7,10

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