November 14, 2019
The Book of Jeremiah makes me weary. I cannot imagine the life of this faithful prophet who spoke God’s message and was treated terribly. Then follows Lamentations, well named because Jeremiah is lamenting everything that has happened. Still God’s people lived in rebellion against Him. The story keeps getting more painful.
Then I read these statements in Lamentations 3:21-26: “Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.”
I wonder if Jeremiah had pondered these thoughts for a while or if he was surprised when the Spirit of God guided him to write them down. Surely, he must have been looking for positive things during negative times. Perhaps he took time to list things for which to be grateful. He had peace of mind because he was pleasing God. He was suffering for doing what was right, not for disobedience. From time to time, he was given privileges that other people did not have.
It always feels good to do the right thing, even if people criticize us for doing it. The loneliness of being considered out of touch with the culture is bearable when we know we are in touch with God. The Apostle Paul considered it a privilege to suffer for God’s honor. Peter said it is the will of God that we suffer for Christ’s sake.
Jesus suffered in ways beyond description; we are told to follow in His steps. While Jeremiah did not know Paul or Peter or Jesus as we know Him, he did know the benefit of obeying God. He was able to speak of God’s faithfulness when life seemed to be dark. I appreciate his attitude.
Pastor Bill Ehmann