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When I entered my final year of studies for my Master of Divinity, I found it hard to keep on reading, researching and writing for those last classes. I was tired and had lost the love of learning that was there in my first year. I did however have something that Jeremiah did not have; I had a clear end in sight, a supportive family and encouraging professors.
Jeremiah had no clear end in sight – God was not judging the people as he had said he would. Preaching judgment when no judgment was evident appeared futile. His so-called friends were waiting for him to falter while his enemies looked for a way that they might trick him and overpower him. And then there were the sneers and insults. It was enough to make him consider quitting – it was simply too much.
Two things kept Jeremiah going: a “burning message” and a steadfast and mighty God. The former was so powerful a conviction that he simply could not keep silent. The second was an understanding that came through consistent and faithful reflection on the God who had revealed himself in times past to the people of Israel and to Jeremiah himself. It is because of this that Jeremiah can say: “I sing praises to you, Lord. You rescue the oppressed from the wicked” (Jeremiah 20:13).
Lord God, thank you for your continual presence with me. At times I am like Jeremiah and I want to give up, to cry out in self-pity and to shake my fist at my enemies. Help me to keep a good and right perspective about who you are. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.