Jeremiah was a young man when the Lord called him into being a prophet. It wasn’t an easy thing to do at first, as he was young, and secondly, he had to warn Israel and let them know what the Lord was saying to the nations. Being a prophet meant he had to face kings, and a great deal of persecution.
It wasn’t long before he started experiencing the weight of his calling and ministry, as persecution, hardship and opposition started to face him. I’m not sure what his expectations are, but sometimes he questioned God about his suffering.
In Chapter 11, Jeremiah is looking at himself. He’s focused on the troubles that surround him. This overwhelms him and he almost sounds like one who’s drowning in the chaos of his suffering. Jeremiah’s enemies are seeking his life, and, as he looks at the troubles around him, he can’t see a way out.
In Chapter 12, Jeremiah’s focus shifts from himself, to God. Amid the chaos, he turns and calls out to God. God, in His mercy, answers him. Though Jeremiah’s situation didn’t change, the voice of the Lord speaking to him brought him assurance and comfort. He’d felt the losses associated with his calling as a prophet, but now he understood the purposes of God for his suffering.
Sometimes, when we go through hardship, we can be like Jeremiah. We can feel cheated and hard-pressed. That’s when the Lord doesn’t want us to turn inward, but upward. He knows about our situation and cares.
The moment our focus shifts, we’ll drown, like Peter stepping out of the boat and getting overwhelmed by the waves. But as we focus on the Lord, trusting in His grace, and looking up, He’s there, stretching out His arms to help and support us. The situation might not change, but trusting in Him will bring a huge difference. And, hopefully, as you look back, you’ll see the reason things happened the way they did.
Prayer: Lord, today I chose to lift my eyes to You. There are things in my life that are hard, and which I can’t understand, and which I can’t see the way out of, But You know everything. I’m willing to trust You and to focus on You today. Help me in my troubles. Help me to see Your hand at work in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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