Jeremiah the Feeler: a look at Jeremiah 8:18-9:2
Thank you Jesus for this day.
Jeremiah was a feeler. He felt everything. He felt their darkness and was broken. I see parts of myself in him. From him we learn it is okay to have questions. It is okay to be real with God that we do. Today's lesson from Melissa Spoelstra's bible study Jeremiah Daring to Hope in an Unstable World was right on. Read the words from the portion of Scripture in the blue picture. Have you experienced what Jeremiah experienced lately? If so, will you dare to hope with me?
Coming back to the States has brought on numerous emotions for me as it generally always does. It comes with new thoughts, new perspectives, new feelings, new attitudes... I'm not sure which I prefer, facing the sin of the Muslim overseas, or facing the sin of indifference or apathy in the American church, but I get to call myself blessed according to His word in having battled any of it at all.
Thank you Jesus that You are our Comfort, for carrying an entire world's sin and that you included me in the plan. (Amen.) How truly great is Your love for all of us in this sin-soaked culture we find ourselves in regardless of the tribe or nation we set foot on. (Amen.) Would You help me to keep that reality at the forefront of my mind in each new day? (Amen.) And give me the grace to do it, and grace to and for those around me. (Amen.) It is in Your name I ask these things and thank you in advance for what You are going to do in this season of my life. (Amen.) Amen.
I love how real Jeremiah was with the Father. I love how he didn't hold back his words or his emotions. He directly and boldly went to Him. God would rather us be real with Him like that instead of pretending everything is okay. He does know us. He knows our hearts and He knows our frustrations and our struggles.
I too find it interesting what Melissa Spoelstra had to say about our circumstances. It is easy to think that since we are following God then He will just take care of it. That things will be easy or things will "go well." But she's right, it just "is not biblical" as she writes in this lesson on "Defining Success" on page 25 of the workbook. She also wrote of Jeremiah that "Jeremiah, however, shows us that even the most faithful followers can feel anxiety and depression and struggle to believe God through rough circumstances," (p. 27).
I think it is possible for us to become depressed when looking at the world's sin. We know the hope of the Cross and the redemption that is possible through Jesus, but sometimes we can feel it deeply when looking around. Are we sorrowing over them and their choices? Do we feel the sadness of the consequences that come from it? And sometimes like Jeremiah as he is known to be the "weeping prophet," I find hope that I'm not the only one who sometimes feels like people do not listen as people did not listen to him either as mentioned on page 28 of this study. I could talk about how we should really listen to other people, but that would have to be another writing for another day.
So what do we do when we get to these places? We realize we are not alone, and we cling to Jesus and to His Word. We need to remember and commit to memory verses like John 16:33 that tells us "take heart! I have overcome the world." And we get to be real both with God and people around us. Finally we take it one day at a time, one experience at a time, one breath at a time until the Lord sees us through it.
For Further Study
What sticks out to you about the verse in the blue about Jeremiah?
What circumstance do you need to surrender to God, to commit to Him? (See Jeremiah 11:18-12:3).
What next steps is He asking you to take (that maybe you don't want to do) that you need to ask God for help to do?
How has God blessed you? (Read Matthew 5:1-12).
Is there a lie Satan has planted about your faithfulness (or your success) regarding your own struggles? What verses can you use to uproot that lie and cling to in the future?