Title: New Every Morning
Date: January 11, 2022
I woke up this morning to one of my favorite verses from God’s word. I often pray these particular words or reflect on them throughout the day. I’m sure this may be on your go-to list as well.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
The main theme of this chapter of Lamentations is God’s judgment on Judea and its sins, in contrast with God’s compassion for His people. It’s important to note that smack in the middle of the “laments” or “loud cries” for their country is a beautiful sustainable truth: No matter where we are or what situation we find ourselves in, God’s compassion and mercy never fail. It was true then and it is true now!
Although the author of the book of Lamentations is assumed unknown, it is believed to be written by the prophet Jeremiah. The world which he had once known and enjoyed had come to an end. Hardship and misery had fallen upon his people. The days in which he lived would make our world today look like a walk in the park on a sunny day. Yet the writer still found the Lord to be faithful while sustaining him through it all.
Let’s take a deeper look at this phrase: His compassions (God’s mercy), which are new every morning…It may not only mean our circumstances can change on any given day. I believe there’s more to it than that. What does God’s compassion look like? Let’s go to one of the most revered chapters in the Bible, even familiar to non-believers:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
First obvious question … is the Lord your shepherd? I think the answer to that is pretty clear to all of us, right? But the next words take us to another level: I shall not want. Hmmm….A bit harder to really mean that in our hearts, for sure! We have so many legitimate wants today, and so many needs for us to feel at peace or completely at ease as we walk through our days on this earth.
When I say “wants” I’m not solely referring to material wants. It’s the wants and desires of justice, freedom, health, normalcy. It’s the wants of good relationships, good friends, good jobs. It’s the wants of world peace, goodwill and unity. The list can go on and on. These desires or wants in and of themselves are not wrong! Seeking our Father in prayer over these things is what we need to do. However, we find ourselves in a dry and parched land, not being able to receive His daily mercies when we doubt and not trust the outcome to Him. For the Bible teaches us that sin separates us from Him. And as much as we don’t always see it that way, worry and doubt are sins! I don’t know about you, but for me that one hurts. If that’s the case I need to be honest…I sin quite a bit! Oh Lord forgive me, for I desperately want to be open every morning to Your new mercies and compassions!
We may or may not wake up tomorrow to changed circumstances, but what a gift when the sun rises and we are greeted by His loving Spirit, as if He is saying, “Come with me and enjoy my compassions, for I love you with an everlasting love! Nothing and no one can separate us. Nothing will ever snatch you out of my hand. We are in this together forever. Trust me and I will see you through. I want nothing but the very best for you. I know it’s hard to see that right now, but please experience my mercy!”
Take a look at this phrase: He makes me lie down in green pastures. It was essential that shepherds guided their flocks to places with enough grass. The shepherd needed to know where to go and the best route to take. There would likely be difficult paths to follow, but in the end the shepherd always led them to the perfect place, just like our Father does faithfully. Do we believe that completely, or do we tend to wander aimlessly, not fully submitted to our shepherd? Keep in mind the “green pasture” not only represents provision, but delight! I love that! Don’t underestimate your heavenly Father! He not only wants to provide, but He wants you to be delighted! How sweet is our Lord!
Did you catch the specific wording of him MAKING us lie down? What makes us finally surrender? What brings us finally to our knees? When we finally conclude it’s out of our hands, it’s only then can we truly relinquish and enjoy green pastures. This is key and yet obviously hard for most of us. If we daily keep in check our anxiety and worry, He promises to lead us to those green pastures beside beautiful still waters. First, we must lay down our wants and our desire to CONTROL, and sincerely want only what He wants. Oh Lord please help us with this oh so difficult aspect of our walk with you!
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…I really like the visual the psalmist presents here. What has to be present for a shadow to exist? LIGHT of course! Much like our difficulties and fears in this fallen world, there is our God and His light on the other side of all the dark shadows. We are never alone in obscurity. I find that extremely comforting!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…What a beautiful picture of a gracious host who prepares and provides a banquet for an honored guest. That guest is you! Even in the presence of evil, sickness, trials and difficulties God calls us to His table, and He’s offering large portions of peace, comfort and protection. He offers a continual feast of His goodness and faithfulness, and we can always come back for seconds. However, we first must come to the table! We first must trust Him wholeheartedly!
Time after time when God’s will comes to pass in our lives we can proudly boast verse 6…Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And then the most hopeful promise of all…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!
What a magnificent promise! There will no longer be need for trust. Have you ever considered that? Our eternal existence with Jesus will no longer require trust! Wow, I can’t even imagine!
When you begin your morning tomorrow, take notice of where your mind trails first. When you really pay attention, you may be surprised where it goes in the first five minutes. Before allowing all the cares of this world to enter in, let’s begin by saying good morning to the Lord:
- I am ready to receive your sweet loving compassion this morning! I want to be consumed with it!
- I will not allow one fearful negative thought to jumpstart my day. I am waiting for you!
- Show me something new! Guide me in your truth!
- Let me taste and see that you are good, and today may my feet be set firmly in green pastures and my mind by quiet waters as I truly experience a cup which you promise will overflow.
- Your compassion…once again found new this morning!
But I will sing of your strength. I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.
Oh Lord in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and wait.
My daughter reminded me of a pastor who taught a Bible study we once took part in. He reminded us that God inspired particular scriptures before time ever came into existence with you and me in mind! In His sweet foreknowledge God knew exactly what scripture we would need and at what time in our lives we would need it! Our Heavenly Father breathed life into His word with us in mind; His word is alive! That is such a tender thought! He’s so personal with us. If He cares so much to prepare such a precious word especially for me, how dare I not trust Him at His completely?
May we all face each new day with “today has an endless amount of amazing possibility” attitudes, because our God’s possibilities are endless and always new for the taking!
Delighting in safe pasture,