Lamentations 3
Contemporary English Version

There Is Still Hope

The Prophet Speaks:

1I have suffered much

because God was angry.

2He chased me into a dark place,

where no light could enter.

3I am the only one he punishes

over and over again,

without ever stopping.

4God caused my skin and flesh

to waste away,

and he crushed my bones.

5He attacked and surrounded me

with hardships and trouble;

6he forced me to sit in the dark

like someone long dead.

7God built a fence around me

that I cannot climb over,

and he chained me down.

8Even when I shouted

and prayed for help,

he refused to listen.

9God put big rocks in my way

and made me follow

a crooked path.

10God was like a bear or a lion

waiting in ambush for me;

11he dragged me from the road,

then tore me to shreds.+

12God took careful aim

and shot his arrows

13straight through my heart.

14I am a joke to everyone—

no one ever stops

making fun of me.

15God has turned my life sour.

16He made me eat gravel

and rubbed me in the dirt.

17I cannot find peace

or remember happiness.

18I tell myself, “I am finished!

I can't count on the Lord

to do anything for me.”

19Just thinking of my troubles

and my lonely wandering

makes me miserable.

20That's all I ever think about,

and I am depressed.+

21Then I remember something

that fills me with hope.

22The Lord's kindness never fails!

If he had not been merciful,

we would have been destroyed.+

23The Lord can always be trusted

to show mercy each morning.

24Deep in my heart I say,

“The Lord is all I need;

I can depend on him!”

25The Lord is kind to everyone

who trusts and obeys him.

26It is good to wait patiently

for the Lord to save us.

27When we are young,

it is good to struggle hard

28and to sit silently alone,

if this is what

the Lord intends.

29Being rubbed in the dirt

can teach us a lesson;+

30we can also learn from insults

and hard knocks.

31The Lord won't always reject us!

32He causes a lot of suffering,

but he also has pity

because of his great love.

33The Lord doesn't enjoy

sending grief or pain.

34Don't trample prisoners

under your feet

35or cheat anyone out of

what is rightfully theirs.

God Most High sees everything,

36and he knows when you refuse

to give someone a fair trial.

37No one can do anything

without the Lord's approval.

38Good and bad each happen

at the command

of God Most High.

39We're still alive!

We shouldn't complain

when we are being punished

for our sins.

40Instead, we should think

about the way we are living,

and turn back to the Lord.

41When we lift our hands

in prayer to God in heaven,

we should offer him our hearts

and say, 42“We've sinned!

We've rebelled against you,

and you haven't forgiven us!

43Anger is written all over you,

as you pursue and slaughter us

without showing pity.

44You are behind a wall of clouds

that blocks out our prayers.

45You allowed nations

to treat us like garbage;

46our enemies curse us.

47We are terrified and trapped,

caught and crushed.”

48My people are destroyed!

Tears flood my eyes,

49and they won't stop

50until the Lord looks down

from heaven and helps.

51I am horrified when I see

what enemies have done

to the young women of our city.

52No one had reason to hate me,

but I was hunted down

like a bird.

53Then they tried to kill me

by tossing me into a pit

and throwing stones at me.

54Water covered my head—

I thought I was gone.

55From the bottom of the pit,

I prayed to you, Lord.

56I begged you to listen.

“Help!” I shouted. “Save me!”

You answered my prayer

57and came when I was in need.

You told me, “Don't worry!”

58You rescued me

and saved my life.

59You saw them abuse me, Lord,

so make things right.

60You know every plot

they have made against me.

61Yes, you know their insults

and their evil plans.

62All day long they attack

with words and whispers.

63No matter what they are doing,

they keep on mocking me.

64Pay them back for everything

they have done, Lord!

65Put your curse on them

and make them suffer.+

66Get angry and go after them

until not a trace is left

under the heavens.


3.11 shreds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 11.
3.20 I am depressed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3.22 destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
3.29 lesson: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 29.
3.65 make them suffer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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