Trusting God’s Heart for it- Jeremiah 29.4-7

Trust God's Heart

Have you experienced being into a similar situation? Let me describe the situation again: You are in a situation that causes a lot of pain and hardship, it is so difficult to bear and in the bottom of your heart you know that it is impossible to be God’s will yet you are stucked in it. You pray to God to fix it miraculously and you expect it come immediately but it is taking too long as it seems. How are you going to cope?

The literal meaning of these verses from the Jeremiah 29 of course is for the Israelites who are in captivity at that particular point in Israel’s history but we can derive a parallel spiritual insight from those verses.

1. Submission to the will of God

Often God wants us accomplish something but we don’t see it right away. Instead, we want God to take us out of our situation and bless us the way we want Him to bless us. We expect God to answer our prayers in a manner that we want Him to answer them. However, just as Isaiah has written, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD (Isa.55:8).

Sometimes, God allows us to experience a good measure of difficulty because He wants to grow us and teach us. He wants to take us to a level of spiritual maturity where faith is not measured by the blessings that we receive but by the knowledge of God’s person or of who He is; a faith that is pure and thrives by God’s grace in each day. By those experiences, we become what God wants us to be.

2. Living by faith and not by sight

to be continued

 

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Facing a Situation, You Don’t Understand- Jeremiah 29.4-7

A painting by James Tissot, "Flight of the Prisoners" (watercolor circa 1896-1902)

A Brief Backgrounder:

The text is an excerpt from a letter of prophet Jeremiah to the Jewish exiles whom King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon has taken as captives from Jerusalem in 587BC.

King Josiah has been affecting reforms in the kingdom of Judah until his unexpected demise in 609BC. The kings that have followed him have done evil in God’s eyes. Prophet Jeremiah has preached against their evil ways and has prophesied about Judah’s eventual fall into the hands of the king of Babylon. Instead of repenting and turning to God in submission, they have even threatened the prophet with death. In fact, King Jehoiakim himself killed prophet Uriah (Jer 26:20), who has prophesied in the name of God, bearing the same message as Jeremiah.

Eventually as Jeremiah has prophesied, Nebuchadnezzar has destroyed Judah in 597BC. God has allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah and capture the best and the brightest off to Babylon and among those are Prophet Daniel and Ezekiel. Nebuchadnezzar has appointed a puppet king, Zedekiah but later, he has rebelled against Babylon and has entered into an alliance with the Pharoah of Egypt against Babylon in a futile war. The Babylonians have returned to destroy Jerusalem and take all of Judah back to Babylon.

False prophets have preached to the exiles that God would destroy their enemy and would bring them home very soon. Their message is good to hear but apparently, it is not from God.

The text here comes from Jeremiah’s letter to the Jewish captives in Babylon to dispel all false prophesies. This letter bears the true message from the God of Israel.

However, the message is something the captives must have had a hard time understanding. First (in v.1), God has caused their exile, second (in v.4-6), God wants them to live normal lives in that foreign land while in captivity; get married and have a family, and work for a living. In the succeeding verses, the letter says that they will stay in that land for seventy years. If you have been one of those captives, you would want a quick release. Then thirdly (in v.7), and the most difficult, God wants them to seek the peace or welfare of the city where they have been taken to as captives.

They have encountered a situation that hit them so hard and they cannot understand why God is allowing it to happen. They are facing a situation that is way beyond their ability to change. They are stuck in that situation for seventy years. No appeal and they need to accept it. No matter how much they want to free themselves, God has something else in mind and they must submit to the will of God if they want to survive.

to be continued…

Strengthen your Faith: Trust God’s Heart- Jeremiah 29.1,4-7

a painting by michelangelo- "The Prophet Jeremiah"

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 (NKJV)

v.1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive to the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.

v.4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:

v.5Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.

v.6Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters that you may be increased there, and not diminished.

v.7And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Allow me to give you a scenario: Suppose you are in a situation that causes a lot of pain and hardship, it is so difficult to bear and in the bottom of your heart you know that it is impossible to be God’s will yet you are stucked in it. You pray to God to fix it miraculously and you expect it come immediately but it is taking too long as it seems. How are you going to cope?

I would like to point out three (3) things in this series:

  1. Facing a situation you don’t understand
  2. Trusting God’s heart for it
  3. Strengthening your faith

Please follow my observations…

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