Friday, March 3, 2023

Lament and Hope

Recently our church had a service of lament and petition.  I was not able to be at that service, but found it a blessing when I watched it later.  I found this especially true, since I had just returned a couple days before from my sister's funeral.  

Lament is defined as "a passionate expression of grief or sorrow."  In the Psalms of the Old Testament lament is often expressed by the psalmists.  Laments like "How long, O Lord?" (Psalm 13:1), and pleas like "Come quickly to help me, O LORD my Savior" (Psalm 38:22) are often heard.  God welcomes our honest laments and prayers for help.  There is much to lament in this sin tinged world, be it the sickness or death of a loved one or the turmoil and immorality in our country and the world at large.

Yet as believers there is hope.  The biblical word for hope does not conote a wishful thinking type of hope with no basis in certainty.  Biblical hope conotes a certainty of promises made by the Lord which perhaps still has not been fulfilled,  It involves an attitude of waiting on the Lord.  Psalm 33:20-22 says, "We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield, for we trust in His holy name.  May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You"

Hope is also a certainty of eternal life which comes to those who are his children.  The veil between this life and the next is so fragile, and that life is so very close.  In spite of lamenting the sorrows in this life, there are many joys in the Lord even in this life.  What is more important Eternity for a child of God will be free of all sorrow and tears.  Most importantly, we will be in the Lord's wonderful presence forever.  We shall behold Him face to face. 

Here are the lyrics to the beautiful song, "We Shall Behold Him."  (A recording of that song sung by my sister, Nancy, singing that in her own words at her funeral was a wonderful.)  Here are the words  for that song for your blessing as well, dear reader:  

The sky shall unfoldPreparing His entranceThe stars shall applaud HimWith thunders of praise
The sweet light in His eyes, shall enhance those awaitingAnd we shall behold Him, then face to face
O we shall behold Him, we shall behold HimFace to face in all of His gloryO we shall behold Him, yes we shall behold HimFace to face, our Savior and Lord
The angel will sound, the shout of His comingAnd the sleeping shall rise, from there slumbering placeAnd those remaining, shall be changed in a momentAnd we shall behold him, then face to face
We shall behold Him, o yes we shall behold HimFace to face in all of His gloryWe shall behold Him, face to faceOur Savior and LordWe shall behold Him, our Savior and LordSavior and Lord!


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