Recently I woke up feeling despondent. I looked at all the devastation around me in society. Then I thought of all my own broken dreams and efforts that came to nothing. Stuff that happened that can easily make me bitter if I swallow the poison dished out in my life journey.
I felt a bit like Jeremiah in Lamentations 3.
Picture this: Skin and flesh that waste away. Broken bones. Walled in. Chained. Weighed down. Hardship. Cannot make progress. Mocked and Ridiculed. Desolate. Afflicted.
In these circumstances, Jeremiah says God’s mercies are new every morning.
Yes, the struggles are real. Unemployment. Abuse. Violence. Economic downturn. Lack of new business opportunities. Those can easily lead me towards depression. Dwelling on all that’s wrong in my life and society will make me lose hope.
Yet, I can choose, like Jeremiah, to focus on the lovingkindness and faithfulness of my King and an expectant hope will rise again in my heart. I will again be able to lift my head and face the challenges of today.
We have an inheritance waiting for us. In the old testament, it says the inheritance of the twelve tribes were determined by lot. It sounds as if it was random, yet that is not the exact meaning of the original Hebrew word. Rather, the Strong Concordance explains it as “pebbles used for systematically making decisions”. The Bible lists some of the principles Joshua applied in this systematic decision-making process. Each tribe received a portion of land commemorative to their size. Daughters inherited from their fathers. But that brought about a different principle: they had to marry men from their own tribe that the portion of land allocated to that tribe could stay intact. Levi and Simeon did receive their portions within the boundaries of the other tribes as determined by Jacob hundreds of years ago. All could only occupy their inheritance at the same time, meaning the two and a half tribes who inherited land on the east of the Jordan had to wait – and help their brothers defeat their enemies, before they could take ownership of theirs. Joshua 11:23 says the land rested from war when the inheritance was distributed.
We cannot expect to inherit our portion while our brothers are still fighting to secure their portions. Each of us will receive a fair portion in the end.
The promised land was the inheritance the Israelites received. The people, however, were the Lord’s inheritance (Deuteronomy 4:20). The Lord was the inheritance of the Priests and Levites. (Deuteronomy 18:1-2)
Each person’s inheritance will be different, but perfect for them. They would be blessed if they comply with the principles God gave them.
Look after the stranger, fatherless and widow in your midst. Then God will bless the work of your hand. And there will be no poor among you.Deuteronomy 14:29 & 15:4
That was Israel then. Now we receive our inheritance from our heavenly Father by believing in the Promise He gave us. (Romans 4:13-16) There is the promise of everlasting life (Titus 3:7). An inheritance of Righteousness as was bestowed on Noah (Hebrews 11:7)
Yet, we are still in the midst of the battle now. That is why we are facing difficulties and suffering, even similar trauma to what Jeremiah experienced. Like Jeremiah, we can choose to lift our heads and focus our minds on the immutable:
We can face each new day knowing, whatever life throws at us, God’s mercies are new today. His grace is enough for today while we wait with an expectant hope on our inheritance.