I used to believe that if I honored God and acknowledged Him in all my ways, He would direct me away from trouble. I felt I would somehow be insulated – not from all suffering, just certain kinds. So when life released its fury on me and I was confronted with harsh realities that seemed to go beyond all boundaries of fairness and rationality, I wondered why.
Why me? Why this? Why now? Did I do something wrong? Is this a joke? What is happening? Why does it seem like the enemy is winning?
Have you ever been utterly baffled by something you’re going through? Ever wondered how God could allow a thing so awful, devastating, or even unfair to occur in your life?
Well, that’s how an Old Testament prophet felt. During my study time today, God drew my attention to Jeremiah 15 where He was having a conversation with the prophet Jeremiah. This is during the days when God was judging Judah for their sin and apostasy, and had raised up Jeremiah to preach and prophesy against his people.
This was a hard assignment, but God had assured Jeremiah that He would be taken care of and protected. However, Jeremiah still went through some ugly things. There were obstacles and opposition at every turn. He felt like the most hated man alive. To make things worse, no one was even listening to him or obeying what he said. Jeremiah felt let down and genuinely didn’t get why God was allowing this.
In verse 10, Jeremiah expressed his dismay, saying, “Everyone curses me.” But in the midst of his grief and despair, God assured Jeremiah of this in verse 11: “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose.”
That’s the message for you today, too!
Something awesome will come out of this, no matter how bad it looks today. I know it’s not always easy to believe that. It was especially difficult for Jeremiah.
In verses 15-17, the prophet told God, I’ve been faithful to you; I have delighted in Your word; I remained set apart from the wicked. So, in light of all that, in verse 18 he asks, “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?”
Friend, when your pain feels unending and when what ails you seems incurable, know that God’s promises are still true. His word yet stands. His power still prevails and overcomes everything coming against you. He never promises that His love and care for us will help us avoid suffering. Every one of us will suffer sometimes. Jesus said in John16:33 NIV, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Suffering and trouble is unavoidable. But there’s good news: victory is inevitable. It’s yours because Christ has conquered all on your behalf.
In verse 19-20, God told Jeremiah, if he continued doing His will and speaking the word, the Lord would restore. Furthermore, Jeremiah’s enemies would not prevail against him. That same promise is yours right now. God will restore and the enemy will not prevail.
So lift your head up. Stand on the word of God. Declare His promises. Cling to what He has spoken. Don’t let your circumstances make you stop trusting the Lord. Surely He will deliver you. Surely He will make a way. Surely He will increase you. Surely He will open the door. Surely He will answer your request. Surely He will heal your body. Surely He will tear down that stronghold. Surely He will free you from that addiction. Surely He has heard your cry. And surely He can be trusted to do it!
To really drive home the message God ultimately wants you to get today, I’m stirring a portion of Jeremiah 15:11 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, though things look uncertain on the surface, know that you can rest and trust in the certainty of God’s word. Whatever He says, He makes good on it.
So anticipate deliverance and breakthrough. It is yours already.
Surely, it is.
God, thank You for being faithful in all things. Even though, outwardly, my circumstances look discouraging, my heart is encouraged by Your word. I know You can be trusted to keep Your promises. So when the cares of life try to overwhelm me, I will speak only what You say and believe that, with Your mighty hand, You will most assuredly deliver me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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