Jeremiah Says to Worship Our God of Repentance
"Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. . . . It is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and the fear of Me is not in you," says the Lord God of hosts.
-Jeremiah 2:19, emphasis added
The Scriptures tell us: "Before I formed you [Jeremiah] in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). This is a great scripture for those who say that human life begins at conception. God communicated with a human in the womb; Jeremiah was there as a person, and God chose him there. Jeremiah must have had an incredible childhood!
Jeremiah's woes were unimaginable to our relatively peaceful lives. He lived through the death throes of the nation of Judah. From an earthly perspective, his life was a failure. During his lifetime he watched the decay of God's chosen people, the horrible destruction of Jerusalem, and the deportation of the nation to Babylon. The lesson: We can hope in Christ even when we feel like our lives are failures.
Jeremiah preached for forty years and saw no visible result among those he served. Instead, those countrymen sought to kill him if he wouldn't stop preaching doom (Jeremiah 11:19-23). He had virtually no converts to show for a lifetime of ministry. The lesson: We can hope in Christ even when we see no results from all we try to do for God.
This suffering and lonely prophet had no one in whom to find joy and comfort; his own family and friends were involved in plots against him (Jeremiah 12:6). He never had the joy of a godly home because God never allowed him to marry, and thus he suffered incredibly agonizing loneliness (Jeremiah 16:2). The lesson: We can hope in Christ even when we are alone.
Jeremiah lived under a constant threat of death; there were plots to kill him in secret so no one would find him (Jeremiah 18:20-23). The lesson: We can hope in Christ even when we are close to death.
In the end, tradition tells us that Jeremiah was exiled to Egypt. While faithfully preaching God's Word to the exiles, he was stoned to death by his own people. In spite of everything, he found hope in worshiping our God of repentance.
And you, too, can find living hope in Christ even when supposedly bad things happen to good people. Here is how: Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him (Lamentations 3:22-25; emphasis added).
When troubles come, knowing that God is good to all who turn to Him for help, the person who is genuine trusts in Christ and finds hope to "keep on keeping on"!
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