Week of February 28, 2021 

SERIES: Learning to Lament       

Week #3: Hope in God     

Lamentations 3


Pastor Brian continues our series, “Learning to Lament” this weekend as we study chapter three of the book of Lamentations. Lamentations, the name itself means “how??” –  was written in response to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC by the Babylonians. The writer is lamenting the destruction of the city, the devastation of the people of God, and the sin that brought this judgement upon them. In this poem, the writer points to some very important lessons we can learn about our God.  


    1. Our God is Not Safe- is this Brian’s word from his sermon?
      1. Job 13:15 ESV “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” 
      2. Lamentations describes the suffering associated with the travail of Jerusalem, God’s people.
        1. Judah had gone the way of Baal. They worshipped both Baal and YHWH in this moment. This brought them judgement. 
        2. God’s perfect goodness, righteousness, and justice requires that He judge sin. In this case, His judgement came in the form of immense suffering at the hands of a formidable enemy.  
      3. Jeremiah uses figurative language to describe how unsafe God is when He acts against sinners: 
        1. God is a wall builder, a chain maker, a dungeon keeper so that the sinner cannot escape affliction. There is no way to turn and go without being blocked or thwarted. (3:7-9)
        2. God is a wild beast who tears sinners apart. (Jerusalem torn apart by their enemies) (3:10-11)
          1. Isaiah 38:13 ESV “I calmed myself until morning; like a lion he breaks all my bones; from day to night you bring me to an end.”
        3. God is a skilled archer who takes aim at the sinner and hits the bull’s eye every time. (3:12-13)
        4. God is a tooth breaker and a soul crusher. (3:16-17)
      4. Lamentations 3:18 ESV “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.” 
        1. We need to pause and consider God’s right and resolve to crush both sin and sinner in executing justice. 
        2. What about our sin? Nationally, we are a nation who has moved so far away from God. We knew Him once, but we do what is right in our own eyes. We pay God lip service in our thoughts and prayers, moments of silence, and religious undertones, but then we do whatever we want with our lives.
        3. What about our church? What about my sin? He will judge all of it according to His word. He is not safe. 
  1. Our God is Not Safe, but He is Good 
    1. “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” – C.S. Lewis “The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
    2. There is a giant transition here. 
      1. Lamentations 3:21 ESV “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.” 
      2. At the moment of deepest despair, the writer who expressed hopelessness turns to hope as he remembered the Lord. 
    3. When we go through suffering and affliction whether because of our sin, the sin of our nation, or because of the sin of the world, we must remember who our LORD is in His fullness: 
      1. The LORD’s love is steadfast and never ends. 
        1. Lamentations 3:31-33 ESV For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men. 
      2. The LORD’s mercies (compassion) never end.
        1. Psalm 30:5 ESV “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
      3. The LORD’s faithfulness is great. (He keeps all his promises.) 
      4. The LORD is my portion. (He is my life, my way.)
        1. Psalm 73:26 ESV “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
      5. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him and seek Him.
        1. Isaiah 30:18 ESV “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”


  1. Malachi 3:6 ESV “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
  2. Isaiah 53 – He was crushed for our transgressions. (God poured out his wrath on Jesus)
  3. Matthew 27:46 ESV “…My God my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  4. Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ – by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”


  1. There is one response to sin: Surrender your life to Jesus who took the wrath of God upon himself for the sin of everyone who would trust in him. Repent and follow him. 


Group Check-In and Prayer 

We are just one week out from “SNOVID 2021” or “Snowpocalypse 2021”…whatever you call the recent storm. Take time to check-in on your group as you begin. How are those who had water and plumbing issues? Are there any updates? How can the group help? Share stories of how you as a group have served others. Share details and opportunities of how to help. 

**Note: if you are looking for an opportunity to serve those affected by the recent storm, you can go to or give by going to and choose “Disaster Relief” from the dropdown menu.  

Opening Discussion: 

Once again, begin your discussion by having your group look back on their readings from this past week. 

Lamentations is not a book that we typically turn to for our daily devotion. The name itself is one that speaks of sorrow and scares many away. Why would I read a book full of poems about sorrow and despair? But there is great value here. Why? Because the nature and character of God is expressed in these words just as they are in a more familiar or favorable book of the Bible. There is much to learn in these pages. There is much to be encouraged and challenged by. Learning to Lament is important to our relationship with God. Encourage your group to really lean into these words and ask God to speak clearly to their lives. 

One of the ways we are encouraging our church to do this is through reading one chapter of Lamentations a week. But instead of reading it one time, we are encouraging you to read this same chapter each day for a week. Grab a Bible, pen, journal, and use a tool like S.O.A.P. to guide your reading and reflection. To find out more, go to and click on “Reading Plan” for a guide and calendar for daily readings. 

As you begin each group discussion during this series, ask your group members to share how the Lord has been speaking to them by answering these questions: 

Q: What were some specific scriptures that stood out to you as you read the chapter this week? 

Q: What were some of the observations you made about this chapter this past week? 

Q: How did you seek to apply these truths to your life? 

Q: What have you been praying for this week? How has God answered your prayers? 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.

Q: How would you explain the truth that “our God is not safe”? What does it reveal about the character and nature of God? How could this stretch and challenge our view of God?

Q: Read Lamentations 3:1-17. Describe the ways the writer describes God as a “God who is not safe”. How have you experienced God in these ways?   

Q: Read Lamentations 3:21-26. There is a transition here in these words. The writer who was seemingly without hope, has found hope in remembering God. What does the writer say about God in these verses? List out these descriptions. 

Q: Take each identifier you wrote down from 3:21-26. How do these descriptions bring us hope? How have you experienced God in these ways? 

Q: In Lamentations 3:21, the writer states “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.” What can we do to keep our minds and memory focused on the Lord so we too can have hope? What can distract us from remembering God in difficult times?   

Q: Read Malachi 3:6. What does the prophet declare about the character of God? How does this give us hope?   

Q: Read Ephesians 2:4-10. Where does Paul say we can find hope? How does he describe the reason for our hope in this passage?” 


Lamentations 3 reminds us that even in the midst of difficulty, hardship, judgement, and lamenting, we can have hope. There is a hope that is greater than everything else. It is greater than circumstance. It is greater than suffering. It is greater than sorrow, and it is greater than sin. This hope is Jesus! 

Use the following questions to wrap-up your discussion. 

  1. What did you hear? 
    1. What is your one “take-away” from this week? 
    2. How did the Lord speak specifically to you through this passage? 
  2. What do you think? 
    1. How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about God, sin, and what it means to lament?  
  3. What will you do? 
    1. What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your life this week?   

Have group members share their answers to the above questions. Close with prayer asking God to help us understand the importance of learning to lament this next week. 

Encourage group members to continue their reading in Lamentations. This week is chapter 4. Encourage them to walk through the scripture slowly, listening closely to hear God speak and then obeying His words. Encourage them to use the S.O.A.P. resource to help guide their reading, reflection, and prayer. 


  • Lamentations 3, Job 13:15, Isaiah 38:13, Psalm 30:5, Psalm 73:26, Malachi 3:6, Isaiah 53, Matthew 27:4, Ephesians 2:4-10


February 14, 2021 Lamentations 1

February 21, 2021 Lamentations 2

February 28, 2021 Lamentations 3

March 7, 2021 Lamentations 4

March 14, 2021 Lamentations 5