August 20, 2017
Jeremiah and the people of God were not on the same page in life. Jeremiah was continually telling the people what God wanted them to hear but the people and the leadership did not like his message and turned against God’s prophet. Pashhur, the priest and chief officer had Jeremiah beaten and put in jail in stocks until the next day. How does one normally feel after they have been beaten and put in stocks overnight? Jeremiah struggled with his role as the bearer of bad news and destruction.
The prophet Jeremiah does not sugarcoat his feelings. For more than forty years, Jeremiah ministered despite overwhelming opposition. This “weeping prophet,” found his heart breaking over the sins of the people and the difficult circumstances he endured. Jeremiah was constantly at odds with the authorities, both political and religious. An angry King Jehoiakim, for instance, burned the prophet’s scroll piece by piece. As if witnessing that were not painful enough for Jeremiah, the people of Israel whom he loved hated him. Despite his faithfulness, he was branded a traitor as he prophesied judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem. He praised God, yet complained about the miserable conditions of his role as prophet. It is not unusual for people encountering spiritual battles to experience discouragement and to temporarily lose perspective. Remember, God is faithful. He will uphold us and renew our strength as we turn to him for comfort. God did it for Jeremiah and He will do it for you.
Have you battled discouragement?
What do you do when you are discouraged?
It has been pointed out that just as sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car, sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian. James said, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) After all, as James points out, knowledge without action is useless. Knowing who God is and how much He loves you without loving Him and obeying Him in return is empty. Knowing what God demands and desires from His people but not doing any of those things is meaningless. Many people seem to hold to a form of Godliness and yet deny the power thereof. There seems to be a disconnect between faith and faithful service.
What is your testimony in life?
Do people see the presence and glory of God in everything you do, or do they just hear the religious talk without your actions backing up a verifying your love for the Lord?
The person who truly believes God’s Word is not the one who studies it the longest or who argues most eloquently on its behalf. The person like Jeremiah and James, who truly believes God’s Word is the one who applies and incorporates it into their daily lives. We are to do what God’s Word tells us to do, and we are to shun all that His Word tells us is sin. That is how we clearly express our faith. We deceive ourselves when we merely nod along in agreement with God’s truth but sit around and do nothing in response to God’s control and direction in our lives. We are to be doers of the Word of God and people of action who are filled and led by the Holy Spirit. I had a man call me this week who wanted to go with me to minister to others because God had spoken to Him about being a doer of His Word. We had a wonderful experience and I was greatly encouraged by his love for the Lord and his faith in action! Who could you partner with to begin doing the things of God that make a tremendous difference in people’s lives? Be a doer and not just one who only hears!