Jeremiah was crying and in great despair over the travesty of the oppression from without and the rot from within God’s people. He was maligned, imprisoned, scorned, ridiculed, shamed and tortured. Though all these bad things happened to him personally, the famine and threat from the enemy has profoundly harmed the people of Jerusalem. So all around him was fear, pain and hopelessness.
In this context he writes, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23).
Think through all the pains and hardships you face in your life today.
Where is your heart crying?
At least for me, I have so little to complain about compared to all the Jerimiah went through. Yet in all of this, he grasped for the loving-kindnesses, compassion and faithfulness of the Lord. Can I do any less?
Take some minutes to pour out your heart to the Lord, then praise Him for His loving-kindnesses, compassion and faithfulness.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Heb. 1:1-3)
Jesus is the focus for us in these last days. He has shown us how to live and lead. He has demonstrated to us how to treat people and equip and develop them for the Kingdom. He is the One who made purification for our sins.
I have noticed an increasing hesitancy on the part of some Christian writers and speakers about using the name of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is just me and the small sample of Christian communicators I read and hear. Have you noticed it?
Regardless of the offensive nature of Jesus’ name, we must use it because He is the One by whom God has spoken in these last days.
Take a moment to thank Him for all He is doing and has done for you and others you know and love.
These past few weeks, I have been privileged to participate in a mentor group via Skype with younger leaders from Colombia, Argentina, Togo, Nigeria, Vietnam, Norway and Ireland. We have been delving into what it means to lead in light of eternity. The discussions are rich and I am regularly challenged by their insights.
One passage jumped out at me this week. Paul was at the end of his life and knew that, as a prisoner of Nero, he only had days or weeks to live. This is what he wrote in that context:
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
Take a few minutes to reflect on these verses. “That day” is coming for each of us. With the perspective of these verses, what is it the Lord is saying to you?
The prophet Jeremiah had a hard life. Pressures, burdens and hardships were all his. Though no one I know is currently facing what Jeremiah did, most serious Christians I know are facing pressures, burdens and hardships. How can we cope?
Jeremiah says this, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:16)
This verse implies seeking insights from the Scriptures and then reflecting on these Scriptural insights. This produces a peace and confidence even in the midst of our trials.
May you and I follow the model of Jeremiah and seek insights, wisdom and consultation from the Scriptures on a regular basis.