Sorrow was gripping the hearts of the citizens of Jerusalem (Lam. 1). The glorious city was in ruins and the people were facing exile. God’s majestic Zion had fallen to the Babylonians.

The destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC was the result of God’s judgment on an unrepentant people. Because we too can find ourselves wondering how to return to fellowship with God after failing Him, the lessons learned by those downcast citizens are worth heeding.

For the defeated people of the Holy City—and for us—the hope of restoration is given in Lamentations 3. It begins, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope” (v.21).

We have hope because of God’s character, which is marked by these traits: His mercy and compassion (v.22), faithfulness (v.23), goodness (v.25), and salvation (v.26).

Although we cannot understand completely the sadness of the displaced Jerusalemites, we do know how empty life becomes when our sin cuts us off from fellowship with God. Yet we can be restored because He will forgive us when we repent of our sin. His compassions are “new every morning” (v.23). He alone gives the refreshment of hope, and therefore we too can proclaim, “Great is Your faithfulness.”