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Friday, November 1, 2013


The prophet Jeremiah was overwhelmed with disillusionment and dispair. He begins to curse the day he was born and wondered wny he was even born and did not die before birth inside the womb. This is what he says: Why did I ever come forth from the womb to look on trouble and sorrow, so that my days have been spent in shame? Jeremiah 20:18. Do you think this is an exaggeration? Not at all. We read in chapter 20 that the chief officer had him beaten with 40 lashes then placed him in stocks. Possibly, he was tortured with such a device that caused his body to bend double. Imagine this happening after he was beaten! Why did he suffer this? Was he guilty of any crime? Absolutely not! He had simply declared the Word of God. He did what was right, but in return, what he received was punishment. His once trusted friends mocked him, throwing his own words back at him, calling him the name that God by phophecy had given to Pashur, the priest, Magor-Missabib, meaning "terror on every side. That hurt him, no? His prayers were full of loneliness and complaints: O LORD, Thou has deceived me and I was deceived; Thou has overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me.... for me the word of the LORD has resulted in reproach and derision all day long, Jeremiah 20:7-8. We can surely see a man in despair, anguish. This prophet of the LORD is struggling with persecution. I think that deep down in his heart he's questioning God's presence in a moment when he needed Him the most. What feelings of despair! We all have thoughts like that, don't we? Many, many times they come with long and dark suffering when the pain just won't go away. We feel, like the prophet, as if we are being beaten without mercy! We see this when our marriage vows are broken, tragedy strikes us, or the death of a very dear and loved one and injustice prevails. Sometimes, we question God's justice. God's silence can disillusion us sometimes. We begin to question why He permits such things to happen when we know and are aware deep in our hearts that this defies His character. It is then that we are tempted to say like the phrophet: I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name.... Jeremiah 20:9. So many times we see this happening with outstanding preachers. They quit and go after a secular job, this is the work of satan! It is then that we need to remember what Jeremiah admitted: ...Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it, Jeremiah 20:9. This fire was one of confidence, hope, determination. His disillusionment was replaced with God's reassurance. Let's always keep in mind what Jeremiah said: .... Nothing is too difficult for Thee, who showest lovingkindness to thousands.... great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to the fruits of his deeds, Jeremiah 32:17-42. The LORD'S lovingkindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.... Lamentations 3:19-32; These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world, John 16:33.

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