Lam. 3:31-33 For the LORD does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
What these verses say to me is that the Lord never gives up on us. As long as we have breath, we have hope. The Lord loves us and will always do what He can do to bring us back to Him when we wander away. The Lord does not like it when people leave Him. He doesn’t like it when people live in misery because of their sin. The Lord wants only what is best for us, a relationship with Him through Christ.
Now, I do believe that we are able to abandon the Lord. We do have the freedom to live in sin if we want to. The Lord will not stop us from self-destruction. He does honor the stubbornness of the heart bent on rejecting Him. He will do whatever He can to draw us back to Him, but He never holds us captive against our wills.
Grief is a good thing for the soul out of fellowship with God. It helps the soul to know that things are not as they should be with God. It draws the soul out of self and sin to the Lord. It reminds us that God loves us and desires a relationship with us. The Lord does not want to cause us sorrow, but does hesitate to use it in order to draw us to Him.
If we truly love the Lord we will have no desire to leave Him. If we are keeping our souls fed with the Word and stay in touch with the Lord through our prayers, we will not wander away. It is only as we totally neglect our souls that we wander away from Him. You cannot expect to keep in touch with God if you ignore Him.
It is not for me to determine whether or not a child of God can keep on wandering away from God to the point where He will not return. I will let that up to the Holy Spirit to determine that for the soul. All I can attest to is God’s love for the soul and His faithful and determined pursuit of the soul. He will pursue a wandering soul as long as there is breath in the soul. He has no desire that anyone would perish. He longs for everyone to spend eternity with Him, even though He knows most won’t. Hell exists for those who abandon the Lord.