Sometimes We Lament

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

It’s taken me more than a week to pray on and write this blog post…and it still may not hit all the right notes. Though I hope you can relate to the message’s tone and tenor. I trust that the message is one you can relate to, feeling the pang of each event in your spirit. With each event, the pangs seem to intensify.

Sometimes I lament in my spirit. I lament over the wickedness in our world and how mankind continues to grieve and offend our gracious God.

Murdering spirits. Shootings. Young people being slain in our streets. In our schools. In our parks. Slayings. No regard for human life. Bombings. Wars. Abortions. When will it stop? When will justice come?

Sometimes we lament.

Domestic violence. Sex trafficking. Perversion. Grown men (including men of the cloth) and women attracted to children and teens. Unnatural attractions. Rampant, horrific sexual abuse, sexual violence and harassment. Persecutions for faith. Prejudicies. Myriad injustices. A culture, society and world that is hostile toward God and seemingly bent on continuing this way.

Sometimes we lament.

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Addictions. A bondage hastening unto death.

Sometimes we lament.

Corruption and wickedness enacted, enjoyed and exposed on every level, throughout our various institutions that were designed to be trusted and lawful.

Sometimes we lament.

Satan, demons, and the wicked proclivities behind it all.

Sometimes we lament.

The ungodly thoughts that we slay in our own hearts and minds. We pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” from Psalm 51:10.

Sometimes we lament.

Recently, I felt such a grief in my spirit as I have at times before, that I expressed this to a dear sister in Christ. She too has experienced this. For those of us who love the Lord and who have prayed to know the Lord’s heart, you’ve likely felt this burden. But I trust that God’s tears are far greater.

Since when God created man, He has known what resides in man’s heart. It’s dark and ugly. Jeremiah 17:9 reads “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Ecclesiastes 7:29 reads, “This only have I found: God made man upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.”

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Scheming. Planning. Self-seeking. Plotting how they can next satisfy their flesh, their appetites and selfish ambition. And yet, amid their plotting, our compassionate, loving and merciful God —  our God of great forbearance — awakens offenders morning, after morning, after morning, allowing them to return to their plotting. Some are aware of what pleases and displeases God but do what they want anyway, without regard for how their choices offend a holy God. Others are simply blind to the truth. Those spiritually destitute and without the Holy Spirit continue to pursue evil. They despise the truth, despise righteousness and seem all the more thrilled to ride their way to hell, drink in hand.

How long, how wide, how deep is our Savior’s love, His patience and kindness toward us?! The stench of wickedness has reached His nostrils! Creation is groaning. The earth remembers it’s slain. We’re daily witnessing the consequences of evil. Yet, God continues to strive with mankind, for now. He pursues and pursues us. His love is amazing to me. I’ve often admitted that if I were God, I would have annihilated mankind a long time ago. Fortunately, His plans are better than mine.

In ways far beyond my comprehension, God still loves. Throughout the bible, we see God’s love displayed for people amid their repeated and blatant disobedience. Many of the Old Testament prophets lamented over the people’s disobedience. Jeremiah is sometimes referred to as “the weeping prophet,” grieved that his warnings of God’s judgment pronounced to the people of Judah were constantly disregarded as they worshiped worthless idols. Stubborn and rebellious hearts. They should have all been destroyed! But in Jeremiah 5:18, Jeremiah speaks the LORD’s words that He “will not destroy them completely.” This also caused Jeremiah to grieve because he knew of the Lord’s great compassion — and that his words of warning would be looked upon foolishly by the people of Judah if the Lord withheld His wrath.

Moses often prayed for the Israelites in their disobedience as they built idols and altars to worship false gods. As I wrote in this article “Should I Not Care About These Too?” about God’s instruction to Jonah to warn the Ninevites of their impending destruction if they did not repent, Jonah became angry at the Lord for His compassion toward these wayward people.

1But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2He prayed to the LORD, “O, LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” In verse 4, the LORD replies, “Have you any right to be angry?” (Jonah 4:1-2,4)

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Today, God, in His great mercy, continues to send His People to pray for, warn and instruct those walking in spiritual blindness on paths of destruction. We lament knowing that some will choose to remain blind, disobedient and will ultimately perish. However, in our lamenting, we should also be encouraged. There is power in the prayers of the lamenting  — even those said without audible words but uttered in deep groans. There is promise in our pleas. God indeed sees, hears and answers prayers. He hears His remnant crying out and petitioning on behalf of the lost. If those who are far way from Him should see the error of their ways and desire Him, He is willing to save.

Heavenly Father, thank you. I don’t understand how you love us so. Your lovingkindess is beyond comprehension. Your grace, unfathomable. Your mercies are new every morning. Even those who rejected You yesterday can become your forever sons and daughters today if they truly repent and choose Your Son Jesus. As we lament over the condition of our world, Your love, Your grace, Your victory and Your great plan of salvation out shines the backdrop of wickedness. We will boldly and lovingly continue to share the Good News hoping that others may hear and turn to You. Even against the backdrop of the darkest of times, our confidence in what You will accomplish will not be slackened. Amen.

Nicole

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