August 04, 2023

“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.”  

Lamentations 3:22,23

Frustration: the feeling you get when reality doesn’t meet your expectations. 

Frustrations abound in this fallen world and come in all shapes and sizes. From unexpected traffic jams, spotty Wi-Fi, and business deals that fall through at the last minute. To unmet expectations from friends, family, or colleagues, frustrations surround us. 

And they can drive you absolutely crazy.   

As a prophet, Jeremiah knew what it was like to experience frustration all too well. For 40 years, he tirelessly preached the same message to the Israelites: “The Lord’s judgment is coming. You need to repent and return to Him.”   

However, as is often the case with us, the Israelites refused to listen and never repented. Jeremiah faced ridicule, mockery, and physical assault and was even thrown into a pit (Jeremiah 20:1-8). Yes, Jeremiah knew what it was like to have a frustrating week on the job.   

But just as Jeremiah had predicted, the Lord’s judgment finally came. The Babylonian army conquered Jerusalem in 586 B.C. They obliterated the city and carried the Israelites back to Babylon as slaves. 

It was a horrific tragedy, an epic low point for God’s people. 

In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah isn’t just frustrated; He’s devastated. With tears in his eyes, he looked over a broken, burning Jerusalem and wondered, “How did it come to this? If the people had only listened… ”  

Yet, despite his heartache, hopefulness emerged from his proclamation of the great faithfulness of God

When we speak of God’s faithfulness, we refer to His reliability and trustworthiness. He is the Promise Maker and the Promise Keeper, for He always keeps His promises.

Compounding frustrations in life sometimes cloud our view of God’s faithfulness. We quietly wonder, “Lord, if you’re really faithful, why is my life so frustrating?” But just because life is frustrating doesn’t mean He isn’t faithful. Remember, God’s faithfulness isn’t dependent upon our circumstances or feelings but is rooted in His unchanging character.

And it was the faithfulness of God’s character that gave Jeremiah the strength he needed during a desperate time.

Let me share an illustration that has proven helpful during some of the most frustrating moments of my life.  

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Our perception of God’s faithfulness often fluctuates based on what’s happening in our lives. Yet the reality is that God’s faithfulness is constant and “endures through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).  

He has promised to be faithful to His plan, His purposes, and His people. Notice I didn’t say ‘your plan’ and ‘your purposes.’ Life doesn’t usually work out according to our expectations, does it? There may even be times when it seems as if His promises aren’t true – as if He’s not keeping His word. But if we persevere, trusting Him through life’s highs and lows, one day we’ll look back and conclude, “It didn’t all work out the way I thought it would, but He has been faithful.”  

I’m reminded of the words of the famous missionary, Hudson Taylor, “God is not looking for men of great faith.  He is looking for common men to trust His great faithfulness.”

Whether you’re facing just a few frustrations or if you’re completely overwhelmed, I pray that you, just like Jeremiah, will trust in the great faithfulness of God. 

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH


“How Could Jeremiah Say, “Great is your faithfulness” in Lamentations 3:23?”