Yesterday, I introduced you to Jeremiah. A man whose purpose in life, whose call by God, was to bring bad news to people. For his trouble he was attacked, beaten, rejected, and most likely killed. But, through it all he did not shrink back. In spite of every obstacle he faced, he persevered. He stuck to message. And he did what he was supposed to do.
How did he develop such character?
- He rooted his identity in God.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you.
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
- He took his concerns to God.
I don’t know how to speak, Jeremiah said, for I am only a youth.
But the Lord said to me,Do not say , ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
- He found his courage in God
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord
- He received his call from God
Behold, I have put my words in your mouth
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.
Regardless of what Jeremiah faced in his life,
attacked by his brothers,beaten and put into stocks by a priest,imprisoned by the king,threatened with death,thrown into a cistern by government officials,opposed in the public arena by a false prophet,
he didn’t shrink back.
He didn’t shrink back because he knew
- who he was,
- where to take his concerns,
- where to find courage,
- what he was called to do.
So when the going got rough, he pressed into God more deeply and found him faithful, not to make the going easier, but to be with him in the midst.
This is God’s promise for us too. He doesn’t offer us an easy life, but he does offer us an accompanied life.
Join me here tomorrow, when I take this message home with questions for you to ask yourself. Questions to help you develop character like Jeremiah.