The Morning After
Spirit of the Living God, fan into flame the burned-down embers of my faith, and set me ablaze with Your fire.
Read Jeremiah 32:16-44
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“All of God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them” (Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905).
Jeremiah’s faithful and courageous witness lands him in prison. Following his amazing testimony shown by his land purchase, Jeremiah’s human vulnerability takes over and in a wonderfully conversational prayer he outlines what he believes God has revealed to him and seeks God’s reassurance that he has heard God correctly.
Strong reactions, even times of anger, vulnerability, depression and fear, can often follow times of courageous witness as well as sometimes preceding them. They are nothing to be ashamed of and, if openly acknowledged before the Lord, can lead to new times of restoration and new witness and service. Elijah experienced depression after his confrontation with Jezebel (1 Kings 19:3,4). Jonah’s outburst of anger followed his very effective witness that led to national repentance in Nineveh. Even Jesus experienced anxiety just prior to his arrest and crucifixion (Luke 22:41-44), although for three years he had been assuring his disciples and others that this was the whole purpose of his coming into the world. For Elijah, the experience gave him the assurance both to continue his demanding and often dangerous ministry and also to begin training his new attendant and future successor, Elisha. For Jesus, the strength that the angel gave him enabled him to fulfill his calling in the awful trials and testing that lay ahead of him. For Jeremiah, this experience helped him to see God’s purposes more clearly. He was able to comprehend the longer timescale of God’s working, and that through the purifying fires of his judgment, he would restore Israel to the benefits of its covenant relationship with him. He was so sure that he had correctly heard God that he confirmed his land purchase in the presence of those who so strongly opposed him.
Are you wondering if you’ve done the right thing? If so, honest prayer followed by a time of listening can bring clarity and renewed understanding of God’s working.
I come to You, Lord, because You habitually give hope to the hopeless and rest to the weary. Encourage those who are struggling with depression, I pray.
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