Daily Bible Reading Reflections

From Lamentation to “But” to “Therefore”

Today’s Bible reading is Lamentations 5 and 1 Timothy 4.

For many, 2020 has been a lamentable year. Interestingly, our daily Bible reading schedule has taken us through the Old Testament book of Lamentations in recent days. If you need a perspective adjustment, a book of the Bible with a title like that is probably up to the task.

Today’s chapter, Lamentations 5, uses words like disgrace, weariness, and mourning. “The joy of our hearts has ceased” (5:15) and “for these things our eyes have grown dim” (5:17). You get the idea.


Here’s something worth thinking about during this last week of a challenging year.

But you, O LORD, reign forever;
your throne endures to all generations. (5:19)

Even in a book full of lamentations, a light shines in the darkness. The writer is honest in his description of affliction, wanderings, wormwood, and gall. “My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me” (3:19-20). Maybe that sort of honesty resonates with you in late December of 2020.

“But…” There it is again.

But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (5:21-24)

2020 has been lamentable for many, maybe you included. As this last week of the year begins, what says your soul? Does it have an anchor? Is hope alive?

Every book of the Bible is worth reading and meditating upon, even a book with a title like Lamentations, because it reminds us that in the most difficult of times, our God is not absent. He is not socially distanced from his people. He is not locked down, restricted, or furloughed. His work has not stopped; in fact, it hasn’t even been slowed. His mercies are never exhausted. They are new and fresh this very morning. His steadfast love never ceases. The weight of his faithfulness is greater than the weight of our griefs. His throne endures. He reigns today.

That’s how lamentation leads to “but” leads to “therefore.” 

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Of all the books in all of the Bible, who would have guessed that Lamentations would remind us that hope is alive as we turn the calendar to 2021?