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About the Writer:
Karen Hossink

Karen Hossink

Karen Hossink is a wife, mother, speaker and author. She and her husband, Brian, have three children: Elizabeth, Joshua and Matthew, and they make their home in Okemos, Michigan. Karen's book, Confessions of an Irritable Mother, offers the hope that God uses the hard times in our lives to make us more like Jesus. Karen is a speaker for Speaking Thru Me Ministries, a fee-free event resource for churches.  You can find more information about Karen at:


I Call To Mind

by Karen Hossink

Jeremiah, the writer of Lamentations, had been through an awful time. He had warned God's people of impending disaster, and now it had come. Jerusalem had fallen and the whole nation was destroyed. In verses 19 and 20 of chapter 3 Jeremiah said, "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me." The whole book up to this point is filled with this same sentiment. Despair and suffering.

And then comes verse 21 of chapter 3, which I think is my favorite verse in the whole book.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope”

Let's look at this verse closely.

YET. My thesaurus brings up words such as however, nevertheless, in spite of that, nonetheless. So, Jeremiah is saying IN SPITE OF what I have been through; EVEN THOUGH my circumstance is difficult; I am suffering, HOWEVER. The YET he uses acknowledges the truth of his situation but promises there is more to it.

YET THIS. The word "this" is referring to is the Truth of the following verses:

“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

YET THIS I CALL TO MIND. This next phrase, “ I call to mind,” tells us that Jeremiah purposely reminded himself of something. He had an experience of knowing God's faithfulness and he reminded himself of what he knew to be True of God. When I consider those words, "I call to mind," I imagine Jeremiah putting forth effort to do something which was not natural. He was in the midst of suffering, but he chose to tell himself the Truth about God even though his circumstance pointed to something entirely different.

And the result of his efforts? We find in the last part of verse 21: AND THEREFORE I HAVE HOPE. That is, even though Jeremiah was suffering, he reminded himself about the Truth of who God is. Thus, he was able to have hope in the midst of despair.

Now I don't know about you, but I have never experienced a situation as terrible as the one Jeremiah was lamenting in this passage. Even so, there is so much we can learn from him in this one short verse. Imagine how we could paraphrase and amplify it: Even though the economy stinks and finances are really tight, in spite of the report from the doctor, regardless of relational strain and pressures, though the circumstances around me are frightening, nonetheless I will remember who God is. I will tell myself about His goodness and mercy. I will remind myself of how He has been faithful to me all my life and I will be reassured that He will carry me through my current situation as well. And because of the LORD's great love, even though my situation looks bleak, I have hope in the One who can save me.

I don't know if any of the scenarios I mentioned describes your situation today, but I know God is good and I know He can handle your situation – whatever it is. In the face of suffering Jeremiah said, "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope." My question for you is, What's on your mind today?

Copyright © 2009 – Karen Hossink. All rights reserved.



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