THE LORD IS MY PORTION

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1 INTRODUCTION: This week we will jump back into our study through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation We will be looking at the book of Lamentations so you may want to read ahead and join us Thursday at 7 PM at the HUB Today we will be looking at Lamentations 3 And we are going to being a short series through Lamentations entitled The Lord Is My Portion Let me begin with a question. What do you think of when you hear someone say that s my lot in life? The origin of this phrase points to several different possibilities For instance, it can refer to drawing or casting lots The one who draws the short end of the lot looses that s your lot in life It can also refer to a plot of land When the nation of Israel was dividing up the land of Canaan, each family drew lots to determine what plot of land was given to them Whatever land you won was your lot in life literally Whether you were a farmer, a rancher or a manufacturer depended on the land you were given The third origin points to Lot, the grandson of Abraham, who chose what he thought was the better land but in the end it was a terrible decision So those who make bad decisions are compared to Lot so they are getting their Lot in life One thing we can agree on someone s lot in life is usually seen as a negative not a positive But here in Lamentations, we read Lamentations 3:24 (NKJV) 24 The LORD is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him! Now this phrase the Lord is my portion is interesting, because in the Hebrew it means the Lord is my lot in life That s the difference between a believer and an unbeliever And unbeliever looks at the hand that life deals them and says that s my lot in life But the believer looks at the hand that life deals them and says the Lord is my lot in life

2 Jeremiah saw God s people as God s field, the possession of the Lord And those who have been born again into the family of God We are His people, His prized possession Every good and perfect gift comes from our Father in heaven So we look to the Lord, our portion in this life Listen to what Jeremiah writes Lamentations 3:21 24 (NKJV) 21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 Through the LORD s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him! When the Lord is our portion, it changes how we approach life There are three primary changes that we experience as believers First I have a change of mind Second I have a change of heart Third I have a change of perspective Now, I want you to notice vs. 21 Jeremiah writes this I recall to mind, therefore I have hope Now you have to understand the context that Jeremiah is in when he makes this statement Jeremiah is sitting in a cave overlooking Jerusalem The city is completely destroyed The smell of decaying bodies fills the air He sees poor starving people picking through the rubble looking for food Everything he prophesied has happened and He s weeping over the city Why didn t you listen to me It s easy in those moments to be overcome with hopelessness But then He remembers and he looks up What you set your mind on will determine your outlook Paul wrote to the Colossians Colossians 3:1 2 (NKJV) 3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 As believers we are to set our mind on things above When you set your mind on the things on earth you can end up depressed, filled with anxiety, overcome by circumstances But when you set your mind on the Lord and His great faithfulness you will experience peace in the midst of circumstances I think of Corrie Ten Boom was sent to a German Death Camp for smuggling Jews during World War 2 and out of her experience this is what she wrote If you look to the world, you ll be distressed. If you look within, you ll be depressed. If you look at God you ll be at rest. And that is what Jeremiah does He puts a new set of thoughts into his mind He stops thinking about himself He starts thinking about the Lord Something happens when we think about the Lord and His great faithfulness faith is released and that brings hope And that leads us to vs. 22 Lamentations 3:21 24 (NKJV) 22 Through the LORD s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. Jeremiah says, if the Lord would have given us what we deserved, we wouldn t even be here to see this mess It s really only by God s mercy that any of us are alive today Our lives are in His hands, He s the One that sustains our beating hearts He has no obligation to sustain any of us Even those who complain bitterly about God, who doubt His intentions, who speak out against Him, even those who say how much they hate God or who say I m angry at God They are biting the hand that feeds them Yet God doesn t say, that s it I ve had enough of you I m pulling the plug you re done you re evil and must be destroyed David said Psalm 103:10 12 (NKJV)

4 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Jeremiah writes His compassions fail not God never stops loving you Stop thinking that God is mad at you and the bad things that happen in your life is because God is judging you for something bad you ve done We think that don t we? We think things like my house fell through because I did something bad, I m sick because God wants to get my attention, I didn t get the promotion because God doesn t want to bless me Sometimes we believe the lies that have been spoken over us you ll never amount to anything, you have to learn the hard way LISTEN: God isn t against you, He loves you and He is for you Stop thinking that God hates you, you wouldn t be here if he did When we really believe this it leads to vs. 23 a changed perspective Lamentations 3:23 (NKJV) 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. What is new every morning? His compassion and His mercy towards you Every day you get a new start, every day is a new beginning Yesterday was a bad day but today is looking up You might be thinking you sound like some kind of positive thinking preacher who just ignores the way life really is No let me say this When all you do is focus on your circumstances and wallow in your selfpity you are the one that is ignoring the way life really is because you are ignoring the only constant in your life God s great faithfulness When Elisha and his servant was surrounded by the King of Syria And Elisha s servant was freaking out what are we going to do? We gotta do something we can t just sit around and wait on the Lord We have to act Elisha told his servant Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them

5 And Elisha prayed and the Lord opened the servants eyes so that he could see the armies of the Lord with their chariots of fire covering the mountains surrounding the Syrian Army The Lord was Elisha s portion What is your lot in life? Who is your portion? If you are trusting in man, programs, doctors, lawyers, your strength, your smarts, your good looks you ll get what you got coming But when you trust in the Lord and His Great Faithfulness When you realize that the Lord is all that you need That He is your lot in life your portion You can look up and be at rest like Jeremiah you can say Lamentations 3:24 (NKJV) 24 The LORD is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him!

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