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Lamentations

Lamentations  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:41
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Lamentations 1

We have heard people say it before. “I am so low, all I can do is look up.” Or they have said, “When I look up I have a clear picture of the bottom of the well.” We recognize that some of us may have been through rough time in our lives. Some of the rough times were the result of other peoples’ actions. Some of the rough times were self-induced. Other people warned us. They told us not to do what we did. We knew when we were doing it that it wasn’t right. And now that we have done what we have done, we realize that it is worse than what we thought.
When we read the newspapers we follow the drama of Tiger Woods life. One of the greatest golfers who ever played the game, his off course adulteries ruined his marriage, his reputation and his ability to play at a high level.
Ted Haggart was the pastor of a megachurch in Colorado. He was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals. That was until he was caught in sexual sin. His life changed at that moment.
Some of you have your own stories of ruin. It might be a rough marriage, bankruptcy, the loss of a job or something even worse.
Lamentations is a book that captures the end result of sin. Israel was warned by God 900 years before Lamentations was written that if they didn’t follow God, bad things would happen. The bad things had happened.

She, He, I, They, We

The book can be outlined by five pronouns: She, He, I, They, and We.
The “she” identifies what you would say is ruined as a result of your bad choices. Chapter 1 focuses on Jerusalem. Cities were identified as “she’s”. Jerusalem was in ruins.
If you read chapter 1, it is an acrostic poem in the Hebrew. The first verse starts with aleph, verse 2 with beth and so on. Each verse describes a different emotion or situation. In a vivid way, Jeremiah expresses what many feel when they look at the ruin of their lives.

Lonely

When life goes against you, you are in a lonely place.

Lamentations 1:1–4 (ESV) —1 How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.

Comfortless

When life goes against you no one shows up to comfort you.

2 She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies.

No Rest

When life goes against you you feel that you are one the run.

3 Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

Major change

When life goes against you, the good times are over.

4 The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly.

What do people need whose life is in ruins? What they need is a new life. The old life didn’t work. Life may have worked for a while, but now it comes up short.

New Life

Jesus has come to give you a new life. He wants you to live differently than you did before.

John 10:10 (ESV) —10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Sin has destroyed your life. Jesus came to give you a new life.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV) —20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Paul is speaking of this new life. His new life is centered around Christ. Your life may have been centered around your family, your job, your hunting or fishing, your alcohol or drugs, your books, your hobbies. The new life is the life centered around Jesus.
Jeremiah writes another letter that is found within Jeremiah and Daniel. He tells those who were ripped out of Jerusalem and taken as slaves to Babylon to build a new life. God told him they would be there for 70 years. So he told them to build houses, plant gardens, marry and move on. The old life was in total ruins. They were to build a new life.
Jesus wants you to build a new life. He died to forgive your sins. You may think that’s ok, but in your heart, when you see the ruin, you really want the old life back.
God wants you to focus on the future, not the past. He wants you to build a new life, a life that is centered around trusting Jesus and following him.

New Life

In so doing, you may get back some of what you lost, but not all. People who won’t speak to you because of your sin might see the change in your life as you follow Jesus and realize that you are a new creation, a different person. There are no guarantees.
But God is holding out hope for you. The new life is much better than the old life. So embrace it. Put your trust in Jesus. Sit at his feet and learn from him.
So many people don’t learn from their mistakes. They think they can just live the old life with fewer mistakes and everything will go well. It doesn’t work that way. What we don’t understand is that is often is not the other person or just fixing one thing or another to make our engine go, we need a whole new engine. I am amazed at how many people whose lives are ruined by alcohol keep drinking. I am amazed at how many people who go to prison return. I am amazed at how many people who enter into bad relationships, when they get out of one, jump into another.
That is why Jesus says, “No, I want you to come to me and I will give you a new life.”
Why not come? David Crowder wrote a song called, “Come as you are.”

New Life

"Come As You Are"
Come out of sadness From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
So lay down your burdens Lay down your shame
All who are broken Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home You're not too far
So lay down your hurt Lay down your heart
Come as you are
There's hope for the hopeless And all those who've strayed
Come sit at the table Come taste the grace
There's rest for the weary Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't cure
So lay down your burdens Lay down your shame
All who are broken Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home You're not too far
So lay down your hurt Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms Come as you are
There's joy for the morning Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
So lay down your burdens Lay down your shame
All who are broken Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home You're not too far
So lay down your hurt Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are
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