Things to Remember When You are Experiencing the Chastisement of God (Part 4)

Praying Through the Bible #91

This is our final message on the subject of prayer from Lamentations chapter 3. In this chapter, there are 12 things that we should remember when God is chastising us as He chastised the children of Israel.

We have already looked at nine things from this passage, and they are as follows:

1. Pray with the understanding that God is still in control
2. Remember that, in God, you have strength and hope
3. Realize that if you are still alive, God is showing you mercy.
4. Determine to remember the experience of chastisement.
5. Choose to get humble and stay humble.
6. Never stop trusting God through the period of chastisement.
7. It is good to sometimes experience silence from God.
8. It is good to suffer now in order to prosper later.
9. It is God’s will to restore us to fellowship with Him.

Today, we are going to look at the final three things from this passage that we ought to do when we are being chastised by God.

1. We should search and try our ways. In verse 40, Jeremiah says to the children of Israel, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” In other words, let us look at and examine our ways. As the Apostle Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” The words “search and “try” bear the meaning of carrying out an investigation or searching for the truth.

2. We should admit our faults and failures to God. Verses 41-42 of this passage read, “Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.” The imagery of verse 41 is very unique. Almost all of the commentaries agree that this verse is depicting a prayer made in complete and utter sincerity — our hands, or our outward expression, lifting up our hearts and reflecting honest supplication with God.

3. We should pray to God and praise His name. Verse 56 reads, “I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.” As this passage draws to a close, Jeremiah returns to one of the themes with which he began. He started out by lamenting the fact that God was not hearing his prayers or the prayers of the children of Israel. Because of their sins, they began to feel as though God had cut them off during their time of chastisement.

Notice God’s response to prayer now. Verse 57 says, “Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee.” Because they have admitted their sins before God and have chosen to turn back to Him, God draws near to them once again. He hears their cries for forgiveness and He listens to their prayer. When we sin, we should be quick to get things right with God, even if He chooses to chastise us, so that our fellowship with Him will not remain broken and so that we can get on praying ground, stay on praying ground, and be in a position for God to answer our prayers.

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