Lamentations 3:40-42 (NLT)
40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. 41 Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, 42 “We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.
Jeremiah has been lamenting over God’s displeasure with the people and the fruits lacking in their lives. Here in these verses he says we should look carefully at why God brings afflictions upon and when we recognize those afflictions we should pray to God expecting His answer of mercy and grace. He says sin should be acknowledged. While they felt their sins unforgivable, God was always willing to forgive.
Jesus tells the story of a son who demanded his inheritance before his father died. So the father divided his wealth among his two sons. The rebellious son left and wasted all of the money he had on wild living. The son finally realized the mess he had placed himself into when even the slop meant for the pigs appeared appetizing. At this point he decided to return to his father and accept punishment for his deeds in order that he might eat. But instead of punishment, his father welcomed him back; dressed him in fine clothes; and put on a celebration because he had returned. The punishment the son thought he would receive was instead met with thanksgiving and joy of his return. And while there was no punishment, the consequences of his actions still remained because he had spent all he had, while his brother still retained his father’s property. God welcomes us back with joy when we return to him from our sins. We still have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but the belief God will be displeased with us for our return is false. He opens His arms with love and welcomes us back just as the father welcomed his son back from his wild ways. Have you examined your life and recognized the sins that are present? Pray God will forgive those sins and accept His grace and mercy as He forgives each one.