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Happy Memorial Day!  We hope you have a wonderful day of celebration and reflection upon all of those men and women who gave their lives for our nation.  They sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom and we should give thanks to God for their devotion.  This has been a tragic week for the city of Uvalde, Texas, the state of Texas, and our entire nation.  We cannot help but have a sense of loss and helplessness as we confront another senseless mass shooting.  We wonder when the madness will end!  Loss and grief are one of the hardest emotions for us to process.  Yet, we will not go through our lives without experiencing heartache or grief.  How do we begin to process such tragedy, loss, and grief?  In our sermon series, Empowered, the sermon is Connect to God’s Faithfulness.  We turn to Lamentations 3:19-33.  Lamentations was written by Jeremiah, the prophet, during the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army.  This book is filled with scenes of war, desperation, destruction, and despair.   Jeremiah was also one of the great Hebrew poets.  This book is written so that these verses would be in the very middle of the book.   This is the realization, the inspiration, and the foundation of hope.  Despite destruction and tragedy, God will be faithful to us and when everything else gives way He will be our strength!  Jeremiah’s words are for those who are experiencing the darkness and are looking for the light of hope to guide them!  As you read these words it is our prayer that the light of God’s faithfulness will flood your soul and brighten your path with a living hope! Lamentations 3:19-33: 19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust– there may yet be hope. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. (NIV)