The Fruits of Lamentations
“My soul will glory in the Lord”
Today’s readings: Jos 5:9-12; Ps 34:2-7; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-32
The fruits of Lamentations are plentiful. “I sought the Lord, who answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to God that you may be radiant with joy and your faces may not blush for shame. In my misfortune I called, the Lord heard and saved me from all distress.” (Ps 34:5-7).
When we are down and in our desperation call upon the Lord, we experience lots of good things—deliverance from our fears, becoming radiant with joy, no longer being ashamed, experiencing His salvation in all things. We must be confident that we just need to call upon God, and when we do, then He will answer, He will hear, He will deliver us.
Our confidence that God responds is our realization that God urgently and diligently searches for sinners and eagerly awaits their return. God’s search for sinners is illustrated in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (Lk 15:1-32).
When we are delivered from sin and restored to God, God then uses us to fulfill His plan for the world. “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:17-21).
God saves us through Jesus, and then uses us as His instruments to bring that same salvation to the world. We are given the ministry of reconciling the world to God, nay, we are entrusted with the message of reconciliation. God appeals to the world through us. When we respond, wondrous things happen. When we do not, the world remains in darkness and sin. God then has made Himself dependent upon us for what He wants to happen in the world. Therefore we must be reconciled to God, so that He can use us. Indeed, in order to reconcile us to Himself, God sent His own Son Jesus to take on the penalty for our sins, and to pave the way for our growing in holiness and righteousness in God.
Thus, when we learn the lessons of Lamentations, God restores and blesses us. When we allow ourselves to become a new creation, then God uses us to become ambassadors for Christ.
As a new creation, we must set aside our old life and our worldly and secular ways. We must set aside our own agenda and selfish pursuits, and offer our whole strength to become God’s instruments of renewal in the world. This is so very important to God. God went to so great lengths to win salvation for us. We must respond.
Reflection/action: Consider to what extent you have become a new creation—growing in holiness and becoming an ambassador for Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for assuring me that when I call, you will answer me, and when I seek you, you will deliver me. Thank you for entrusting your ministry of reconciliation to me. Grant me the grace to be fully reconciled to you, to grow in holiness and righteousness, and to do your work for the life of the world. Amen.
God bless you all.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)