Grace For The Journey
Jeremiah is led by the Holy Spirit to write in Jeremiah 20:7-10a, “O LORD You enticed, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, ‘violence and plunder!’ Because the word of the LORD was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not. For I heard many mocking: fear on every side!”
During high school and college I experienced the benefits of training and practice. All athletes are familiar with the benefits of committing to these disciplines. For example, for those who have the goal to begin the season in shape and ready for play, workouts in exercise, running, and cardio-stamina drills will help them do that; for those who have the goal of getting stronger, participating in a consistent weight training program will produce the desired result. For those who have the goal of increasing speed, a systematic running and sprinting program would be the way to go. Although this principle is also at work for the Christian who desires a closer walk with Jesus; if we consistently engage in the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, corporate worship, witnessing, service, giving, and so on, the one that does this is likely to find that God often gives us . . .
Something totally unexpected . . .
Perhaps even unwanted!
Today’s verses are an example of the unexpected. The prophet Jeremiah did not foresee the trials and rejection he would endure when God called him into his prophetic ministry. Jeremiah’s preaching ministry did not return the results he had expected. Jeremiah was faithful to preach the Word of God, but his reward was beatings and prison. While you and I may never see the inside of a dungeon, we often find ourselves in the same situation as Jeremiah:
Experiencing the exact opposite of what
We had expected God to do in our lives.
Tragically, when we are confronted by the unexpected, a root of bitterness may grow within us, diminishing God’s glory in our eyes and robbing us of the good God intended for us.
Our God is in the business of delivering the unexpected. Because God sees the beginning from the end, He knows what is best and He orchestrates events to produce His perfect results – which are often completely unexpected!
Like Jeremiah, we do certain things
And expect certain results.
Without realizing it,
We put our God in a box.
And once we do that,
We begin serving the “god” we wanted,
Rather than the God who is.
Here are three things to remember if we are going to have any measure of peace and joy in this life:
- There is a God.
- It is not me.
- And I don’t get a vote!
Regardless of where this message finds you today, remember that God is in the business of delivering the unexpected.
We all must keep these powerful words from our Lord before us:
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
The better we become at “being still,”
The better we will become at receiving the unexpected
And the freedom, joy, and faithfulness it is designed to deliver.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”