This morning I was reading in the book of Jeremiah. As I read, I realized there is a reason that not many sermons are ever preached from this book. In short, who wants to read a book as depressing as this one? Not to mention, Jeremiah does not take that “feel-good” approach to living, but rather it takes an in-your-face call to “do-right” approach. Unfortunately, we are now living in times that it doesn’t take much effort to look around and find the same conditions that Jeremiah was faced with. Our culture has the same, if not more, trappings of religion while showing very little devotion to our Heavenly Father.
From the West Coast to the East, every city, small town, or suburb is filled with churches; and our airwaves and televisions are becoming increasingly more over-crowded with preachers telling us how to live a fulfilled life. More concern seems to go into slick marketing techniques to attract new believers to our worship services; yet, the underlying issue is that while we may convince ourselves that we’re doing God’s will, the reality is that our efforts are more centered on our works and not God’s power. What’s my point? Just like the days that Jeremiah lived, today there is no lack of priests or prophets. A person can hop from one church to the next until they find the right church that tickles their ear and allows them to live with no conviction or accountability.
In today’s dimming society, as a Christian, don’t you just feel like you’re facing an unachievable win in the battle concerning spiritual warfare? It just seems the more we speak out regarding God’s truth, the more defeated we feel. A good example of that was seen a few months back when Kirk Cameron came under-fire for his stance on homosexuality and gay marriage. The reality is, God never tells us that living a Christian life is going to be easy. In fact, the more this culture changes, the more daunting it’s becoming to stand in a fallen world alone. And that’s the depressing part; at times we feel like we’re the only one fighting these battles for Christ.
If you haven’t done so in awhile, I would encourage you to read through the book of Jeremiah; yes, it’s long being the second longest book in the Bible. However, we as Christ’s followers can take a lot away from this book’s underlying messages. For just as we can feel it today, when it came to speaking God’s truth, Jeremiah stood alone as well. As I was reading this morning, I came to realize that there are many similarities that we can discover about our lives today and the life that Jeremiah once lived. In his life, Jeremiah was witness to the moral decay of the nation of Judah and eventually saw its demise firsthand. Jeremiah was a prophet who time after time warned Judah of God’s coming judgment. Jeremiah stood face to face with the people of Judah conveying the announcement of an upcoming disaster, yet no one would stand with him – except the Lord. It is said he was not afraid to speak to anyone; he spoke to kings and to the common folk; in fact, the Bible states that he held no punches and was forceful with his words. Yet, he felt defeated and went home to weep over their hardness of hearts. Yes, ministry is tough.
But fear not, our Father in heaven is fully aware and by your side. That’s why He proclaims, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). In the days ahead, we have an assignment. God is giving each one of us the same job description He once gave to Jeremiah, “To uproot and teardown, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Just like Jeremiah, seeing continued disobedience to the Lord is going to be heartbreaking. But the more time we spend with our Heavenly Father in prayer and in His Word, the easier it will be. Let me leave you with this one thought, “The person who has the courage to speak boldly for God does not obtain it quickly. They develop it by spending time alone with God in humility and sometimes in tears…” Never give up! Keep fighting the good fight and remember, don’t worry about the masses. Just concentrate on Building His Kingdom One Soul at a Time…