By Matt Dawson
Lamentations 3:17-20 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Read this verse carefully.
Notice all the trigger words that Jeremiah uses to express his unhealthy thoughts that lead to unhealthy emotions. “Forgotten” “Hope Gone” “Remember Affliction, Wandering, Bitterness, and Gall”. The resulting unhealthy life of a soul that is downcast (think depression).
The fact that unhealthy emotions leads to an unhealthy life is not a shocking realization or brand new information. However, we very rarely take stock or reflection of our emotions so we’re not really paying attention to if what we are feeling is healthy or unhealthy.
The big thing I see in Jeremiah’s confession is the fact that he was stuck on remembering all the bad stuff. This is called RUMINATING.
Rumination is the act of repeatedly discussing or remembering negative events, using negative language, and/or replaying even a mildly negative event in your head that only strengthens the connection in your brain between the experience you are focused on and the negative emotions it evokes in you.
Whether you engage in this negative cycle of ruminating over coffee with your best friend or while sitting in a therapist’s office, the results are the same — your ability to change your situation becomes literally limited.
Christ Has Set Us Free
Galatians 5:1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
I don’t believe this is only speaking to the trappings of SIN, but of unhealthy thinking/feeling/living. God wants us to live in freedom and REMAIN FREE to live the life God’s called us to live.
When unhealthy thoughts and emotions rule our lives, Christ is no longer ruling our lives.
I love the way Jeremiah follows up the thought from before. Re-read the above verses and then read these to see how Jeremiah transitioned his unhealthy thoughts and emotions to a HOPE!
Lamentations 3:21-23 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fails. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
What can you do today to shift from RUMINATING on all the unhealthy thoughts and emotions in your life and finally get to a place of HOPE? Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Great Is Thy Faithfulness Lyrics
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!