No Title Yet
10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT)
As a Christian, it is too easy to look at the now and even easier to look at the past. If the now is not much different than the past, hope is something very difficult to hold onto. Your problems, your pain(s), or even bondage can truly cause you to lose focus on Christ and what has been planned for you.
Jeremiah is speaking to (writing to) those who have been taken captive by the Babylonians. A very quick question comes to mind, “What has you in captivity?” In reading through Jeremiah and focusing on what he is writing, I wonder if you have been told, “This problem will end soon…”
As I read through Jeremiah and reach chapter 29, there are all sorts of struggles happening. What you need to focus on is this; what is God saying to you, in the midst of all the chaos that is going on? You, we, everyone has problems and with today’s technology, you can easily read about or see the problems that are happening all around the world. On top of all this, much of what you see, hear and read about is most likely a perspective through many different lenses (opinions), amounting to forcing you to see the “worse” of any situation happening in the world. As I write this, many riots are happening all across America. I have my own perspective and I will leave it there. Point being however, some tend to “ADD” such problems onto their own problems and it is easy to then, become overwhelmed.
When God reveals “His” perspective, you need to listen to Him. God spoke “too” those in captivity through the prophet Jeremiah. What God said was NOT what many of the false prophets were saying. Based on the scriptures, God’s words defied what the false prophets were saying and also spoke of their destruction for their speaking falsely and for being sinful. Pride is terrible and led a false prophet to make an effort to discredit Jeremiah. Just another “problem” in Jeremiah’s life. But a point I’d like to make, this didn’t stop Jeremiah. He didn’t doubt God and he didn’t stop speaking what God spoke.
Nor should you stop because of doubt in the midst of your problems, no matter what is going on around you. Or when others are attempting to discredit you. Keep your focus on God and despite the problems, He’s looking out for you. Do not doubt that! Based on the scriptures in Jeremiah 29, continue on fulfilling a livelihood in the midst of the problems around you, or even in the midst of those affecting your life directly. God has a plan and immediate release from the problem may not be tomorrow, or next week. You may have to endure for a period of time and that is why listening to God is so important. He will get you through when you focus on Him and listen to Him.
Part of this listening to God is both accepting what He says and DOING what He says. Many are being held in captivity by the Babylonians and God specifically says, “Pray for the very city where you are held in captivity!!”
God, you want me to pray for and even support the city which is WHERE, I have this major problem in my life?
Jeremiah 29: 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
Listening is one part of focusing on God. Let me ask a question: Do you say, “I love you God,” while listening to Him and also NOT do “what” He says to do? Well, that’s not focusing on God whole heartedly, is it?
When God says, “I got your back, just wait awhile,” like He meant in His words to those in captivity, those in that city are expected to be wholeheartedly focused and God is expecting to “hear” them praying for that city.
When any problem in your life is specifically due to another person… PRAY FOR THEM!
Here is a point made in that command, God is maturing those put into captivity. They were failing in their listening to and focusing on God and before they knew it, found themselves taken into captivity. Problems WILL happen in your life and some of these problems, God WILL use to make you more like Him and the number one way for this to begin, is to pray!
Remember, prayer is a conversation. Relay to God what the problem is and “listen” for an answer. When an answer is given and God tells you to do something that your internal pride causes you to say to God, “WHAT?” Right there you will now what the REAL problem is that God wants to deal with. The problem that is always staring you right back at you, when you look in the mirror.
That problem that PUT you into the prayer and listening position, is only there to get you to face God. The problem will put you into a position where God can give you specific instruction in what you need to do. The harder it is to do, greater is the change that God will be making in you. His purpose is this, He wants you to be LIKE His Son, Jesus Christ.
The title of this devotional is, “No Title Yet.” The reason is this, some are always too quick in determining what they want in life. One can pick a title early in life and then they strive to achieve meaning for the title “they” gave for themselves. Well, when it comes to God and the testimony that He is giving you, the title to that testimony can’t truly be determined. Or can it? For you know that the testimony is all about how you become more like Christ as you trust and hope in Him, through each and every problem you endure.