Can you relate? It’s a typical day, until something triggers an uncomfortable memory from the past. Like it or not, you spend the next few minutes reviewing a negative highlight reel from one of your worst moments.
Why does this happen?
Here’s one explanation: most people’s thoughts trend negative. According to a March 2020 TEDx talk by Frederick Imbo, of the 50,000 daily thoughts a typical person processes, only 10,000 are positive. That’s just 20%!
Stats like this make me want to eat a whole quart of expensive ice cream straight out of the bucket.
The guy who wrote the Old Testament book of Lamentations sure knew the feeling. Most Bible scholars think it was the prophet Jeremiah. He was an eyewitness to God’s judgment of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
There’s plenty to lament, with your city reduced to rubble and your means of worship taken away. Oh, and grab another quart of Häagen-Dazs for the highway, because ALL of Judah is being exiled to Babylon.
Jeremiah understood this was divine retribution–plain and simple. God brought down the hammer Himself, due to Israel’s flagrant rebellion.
So What’s Next?
The stoic philosophers, who came along two centuries later, said to accept reality without complaint. “Suck it up, buttercup.”
Don’t call me buttercup.
Thankfully, the prophet doesn’t respond this way. First, he dwells on the bitterness of the past–watches the negative highlight reel. This is a BIG downer (Lamentations 3:19-20).
But then he brings something else to the front of his mind. Something that gives him HOPE for the future.
“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.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Now we’re talkin’!
“Accept reality, but focus on the solution.”Jocko Willink
And for Jeremiah the solution is a no brainer: “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” – Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)
Have you noticed the only difference between the words victim and victor? Two letters. And the Good Lord can turn them better than Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune!
Amen! Do I have a witness?
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” – 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
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