God’s Faithfulness To The Defeated
SERMON 3/5 | 21 & 22 MARCH 2020 | All Services
Rev Stanley Chua, Pastor-in-Charge
Scripture Passage: Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
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.
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is often sung at happy occasions like weddings, end-of-year celebrations, etc. This hymn is taken from Lam 3:22-23, believed to be written by the prophet Jeremiah in 586 BC when Babylon razed Israel to the ground. The mood of the book is mostly bleak, dark and angry until Ch 3 when light breaks through at rock bottom as the writer sees the face of God. Today many looked to inner strength to overcome problems. Though true to some extent for lesser problems, our natural resources are insufficient when everything is in ruins. It is easy to sing of God’s faithfulness when things are going well but can we sing it in dark times, e.g. when a loved one dies or when a marriage breaks down? Lamentations declares God is our hope in defeat, light in darkness and the reason for living when we would rather give up.
FOUR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. Why doesn’t God destroy me?
The line between prosperity and disaster, laughter and tears, life and death is fine. Accidents, virus, natural disasters can take away everything suddenly. The question we should ask is: why are we still alive when someone else dies? The answer is found in Lam 3:22 – because of God’s great love we are not consumed. We are under the sentence of death because of sin (Rm 6:23) but God chose to save us out of His lovingkindness, grace and mercy. We should not have a sense of entitlement as if God is beholden to us because we are good and faithful. We live, die, get buried and someone else lives in our house, drives our car, etc. After a while nobody remembers (Ps 103:15-16). Our Christian hope in the face of death is God Himself.
2. How do I know God will keep on loving me?
The answer to this question may be found in v22 – His compassions (plural) never fail. We have lost the sense of gratitude for God’s blessings. His blessings in ordinary things like having coffee with a loved one are missed if we keep looking for big things. In current Covid-19 situation, we need to be grateful for the fact that we are facing it in Singapore, where the facilities to battle it are available.
3. When will God give me what I need?
The answer to this may be found in v23a – God’s mercies are new every morning. God provided manna for the Israelites in the desert but they were to collect them day by day but not more than what was needed. As it turned out, the Israelites collected more, and the excess rotted. We never have to live on yesterday’s mercy, God provides today’s mercy for today and we can trust Him to provide for tomorrow.
4 What is my hope for the future?
The answer to this question may be found in v23b – great is your faithfulness. We are fickle but God is faithful. He cannot disappoint anyone. To quote CS Lewis – he who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.
If you have God, you have enough because He is faithful and merciful. He is always there and He will keep you. Great is His faithfulness.
(Sermon Notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
- According to the speaker, what is the context of Lamentations 3:22-23?
- What are the four questions and four phrases of Lamentations 3:22-23 that the speaker talks about?
- What does each of the question and phrase mean?
- What are the 3 points (or things) that God spoke through this sermon?
- What are 2 questions (or things) that I struggled with?
- What is the 1 promise (or thing) that I may act on?
PRAY | LET US PRAY:
- God will show His mercy, granting protection and healing during this struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Many will see God’s faithfulness in every circumstance in their life.
- The defeated will also see God’s steadfastness revealed in their life journey.
Sermons In This Series:
- Introduction : The Faithfulness Of God (Deuteronomy 7:9; Joshua 21:43-45) | 7/8 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness In Every Circumstance (Genesis 50:19-20; Romans 8:28) | 14/15 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Defeated (Lamentations 3:22-23) | 21/22 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Suffering (Psalm 119:67; 71; 75) | 28/29 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Doubting (John 20:24-29) | 18/19 Apr 2020