I finally finished Jeremiah and Lamentations, which was written by Jeremiah. I thought I would never get through with him! He lived in such a difficult time, when the nation of Judah had turned from God and God was bringing judgement on them. He gets so depressed, and his writing is so depressing. Yet in the midst of it all, there are some wonderfully encouraging passages. You really need to read Lamentations 3:19-42, but here is an excerpt (it's too bad that we don't get the full affect of the poetry of this book since it was translated... makes me want to learn Hebrew!):
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."
As I read through these books I couldn't help but think of our own nation. America was essentially founded on Christian principles, and now we have strayed so far from those. In this difficult time it seems that we are reaping the results of this. Yet God will not forget His own. We may suffer in the times ahead, but let us be like Jeremiah and recall God's love and wait for Him.