Do Not Fear
A devotional by Rebecca Mitchell
God has me reading in the book of Lamentations right now. As the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28 (God’s warning that if the Israelites failed to obey Him, terrible judgment would come), it’s not what many would call an uplifting book. As Charles Swindoll said, “It is a mute reminder that sin, in spite of all its allurement and excitement carries with it heavy weights of sorrow, grief, misery, barrenness, and pain. It is the other side of the ‘eat, drink, and be merry’ coin.”
Now that you’re thoroughly depressed, let me share with you how God is encouraging me through it! The author of Lamentations (traditionally believed to be Jeremiah), is recounting the suffering and misery that Judah has just endured as they have faced God’s judgement for their sin. But in chapter 3, verse 52, he says, “I called on Your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called You, and You said, ‘Do not fear.'”
If anyone had reason to despair, it was the author of Lamentations. God’s people had lost so much. The majority of them had been taken away captive to Babylon. The temple and all major buildings had been burned. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed. The few people left behind were defenseless and vulnerable. Yet God had not forgotten them. When they called out to Him, He drew near! He said, “Do not fear!”
With all that’s going on in our world, our country, our school, and our homes today, many of us may feel like the author of Lamentations – in “the depths of the pit”. Call out to God! He hears your cries! And He does not merely hear them. He draws near and reminds us not to fear! What a wonderful reminder of who God is and His desire for us to be close to Him, trusting Him with all our fears and worries, during these uncertain times.