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Forward Thinking: Part One
The Prophet Jeremiah
I am continually amazed
at the “forward thinking” ability of the Prophet Jeremiah. Often the fault of only seeing in terms of today and ourselves is so evident. We are polarized in selfishness, in making sure all is well for us…today. However, in Lamentations 3 (Which Jeremiah wrote) something so totally different is seen. Many people in Jeremiah’s day, in the midst of the Babylonian invasion, saw only their own future and cared only for what was happening to them. Nevertheless…Jeremiah saw the faithfulness of God in that God left a remnant. Their people would continue into the future.
Jeremiah saw not today or even tomorrow and all the sorrows these days held, all the hardship, but what Jeremiah saw was the hope of redemption in their children’s children. He saw their far future. I call this “forward thinking.”
Jeremiah said, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, His compassions never fail.” (Lam 3:22NIV)
Most people, and I am afraid myself included, would have seen only the devastation, only the sorrow and hardship but Jeremiah saw that all were not consumed which God had every right to do because of their sin.
Jeremiah saw a God of mercy, who held back in the safety, the life of the remnant. A remnant He could and would bless. That He would see through these days and bring back to Himself. God held back, in life, those whose hope was in Him. Who were quietly waiting for Him. Knowing Him and Him alone as their savior.
Do I know this today?
Who or what is my savior? Do I see my hardship as a place to hope quietly in my God and Father? Do I know His faithfulness, great love, and mercy will see me through to not only my good, but to the good of God’s purpose? Do I see beyond my own comfort and my own ambitions?
Jeremiah knew God would see them through the hardship. God had kept them alive and not let the invasion totally destroy all of them. Jeremiah knew God had a reason, a purpose that was much bigger than any of their individual lives. Jeremiah saw in terms of them as a people, a nation. As a continuation of God’s plan.
Am I willing to submit quietly and faithfully to God’s greater plan of redemption?
To our God, Father and to Jesus, our Lord and King, we must all make our confession, that our thoughts have been for our own good and comfort. We have not given a whole lot of thought to the distant future or even to what might be God’s righteous plan. Things don’t just happen and then God arranges them with the pieces that are left to Him. Our Sovereign God decrees all that is to be.
We have a hard time with this as we are a people consumed with our own desires and comfort. How can the calamities of our life be decreed by God? And yet they are! For life is much more than each of our individual lives. God is concerned with each one of us yet, there is a greater whole. There is the purpose of heaven.
© 2010 Ulrike Grace 13 April 2010