Old Testament Stories: Jeremiah the Prophet
Gospel Living

Even our self-inflicted trials won’t last forever.

10/19/22 | 1 min read
A thought from Jeremiah 30–36 and Lamentations 1–3.

The only thing worse than feeling miserable is knowing it’s your own fault.

The survivors in Jerusalem might have felt that way after their city was destroyed. Jeremiah and other prophets had repeatedly warned them to clean up their act or be conquered, and they had chosen the latter. Now some of them were living to regret it.

Jeremiah, though he was righteous himself, wrote the book of Lamentations to mourn (or lament) along with the city. Those lamentations have a positive side, though, and it’s a good reminder for us:

“The Lord will not cast off forever: but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion. … For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men” (Lamentations 3:31–33).

God doesn’t enjoy seeing bad things happen to us. He doesn’t “afflict” us “willingly”—that is, because He wants to. But He will always respect agency, including the consequences that come with sin. Even then, though, He’s eager for us to repent, recover, and feel better.

All of our afflictions will end sooner or later—including, if we repent, the afflictions that we caused ourselves. Remember, our purpose in life is to have joy (see 2 Nephi 2:25). So if you are feeling guilty or experiencing other consequences of sin right now, keep moving forward with faith in the Savior Jesus Christ! Pray. Focus on the positive choices you can make and plead for the Savior’s power to help you. Forgive yourself as you repent. Talk to your bishop if needed. And remember that God loves you!

A Fresh View

The Bible Dictionary describes repentance as “a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.” What can help you have this fresh view each day?