“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV
The children of Israel were in the midst of captivity in Babylon, and all seemed dark with no future in sight. In the midst of that season of trial, God sent His message of reminder via a letter from Jeremiah. God reminded them that He had not forgotten them, and that there was plan and a hope.
I rely heavily on the Old Testament, as a New Testament saint, as I am able to see the foundations of God’s faithfulness. He was faithful to them, He will and is faithful to me. The history of the Old Testament is important because we use it, by way of application, to build up our faith.
We who have been forgiven of our sins, who are the saved, are entering a period of potential trial. In this time of uncertainty, I am thankful for the bible and its reminders. It details God’s power to hold those who have faith in Him. I know that there is nothing that I may face that God’s people have not faced before.
When I consider the promises of Jeremiah 29:11, I am reminded of all the times that God has been faithful, all the times that I have called upon Him and He was near.
I especially remember my own captivity: my enslavement to sin, the penalty that awaited me, and the gift of salvation that set me free.
Many of us are in captivity, as we have turned from the great God who brought the joy of salvation into our lives through Jesus Christ, and have now allowed ourselves to turn back to lesser things. Like a dog going back to its vomit, we feast on the sins of our past, we rely on self, we turn to princes rather than God.
Brothers and sisters, the storm is coming, and the winds that preceed it bring much foreboding. For years I have tracked persecution of believers around the world. It is getting closer, and will soon be here. It is time to seek the Lord. Through Scripture, I know I have a true and steady anchor.
God repeats His promises throughout the bible, time and time again.
“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.””
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””
Joshua 1:9 NKJV
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
I can testify of the hope I have in Christ, even though most things and people I hold dear are gone. He has become my treasure.
All I have is Christ, all I need is Christ. As the darkness encroaches upon us, let us begin now to seek the Lord in earnest, to know that He is faithful.
In the face of peril, we must also be bold. Let us go into all the world and bring the Gospel to suffering people who are increasingly desperate. It is not time to batten down the hatches, and hunker down. It is time to stand up and proclaim Jesus, even if it is the last thing we do.
The Lord Jesus has promised to be with us as we go and fulfill the ministry He has commissioned us to complete.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
“Standing on the promises of Christ, my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God, my Savior;
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail.
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. “
-Russell Kelso Carter
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