“For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 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.”
Jeremiah 29:10-13 NKJV
Trials come and go. In my life, I have seen more than my fair share, and I have known others who have suffered in ways that make my troubles seem trite. I have learned through it all, that God does not leave us abandoned in the trial to suffer alone. He is always with us, always near.
There is very often a purpose in the trial, as God is frequently using the adversity to do a work that can only be done through the struggle. When we are in pain, the voice of God is loud and has our full attention.
I am reminded of one of my favorite verses in the whole bible: Jeremiah 29:11. This morning I looked at te passage in context. Israel had gone into captivity in Babylon, due to their disobedience, and the Lord was using that time to prepare them for what was to come. In the midst of the bad times, God reminded them that, though He seemed far way, He still had plans and thoughts of them.
The Old Testament is a full of types and shadows for the New Testament believer, as we all have those moments of captivity, of trial, of chastisement. I have spent much time in Babylon, usually due to my own behavior. In the midst of consequence, God has been faithful to assure me that He would be there, that there would be a future and a hope.
Thanks to those examples of God’s faithfulness, I can live through my days with no anxiety, as my hope is built upon the solid rock of Christ. It is not up to me, or any solution I can bring. It is all Jesus.
I take my concerns and worries to the Lord. I often spend time talking to the Lord and giving Him my concerns, and my anxiety is exchanged for increased joy and peace.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
Out of the deepest trouble comes thankfulness, as I see the glory of the Lord against the backdrop of my deepest fears, and darkness of this present time.
I am sure that many feel like they are entering Babylon, that they are suddenly finding themselves in a foreign land where they are now the outcasts and the stranger.
In reality, nothing has really changed. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and our future and hope are there as we go about in our sojourn here as ambassadors of the Most High God.
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
II Corinthians 5:18-21 NKJV
I look at the events of the past few months as God’s confirmation that this world we are living in is passing away.
Over the last few days, many promises have been broken, and the true debased nature of our world has been revealed.
The decay is no longer hidden. We can now see the fingerprints of the evil one, on all that we see.
Even in this dark season, I am rejoicing in the captivity of these present times, because the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom is looming brighter and brigher on the horizon. It is always darkest before the dawn. The Son will soon rise!
Brothers and sisters, remember that God has already given you a future and a hope. Those who have called on Jesus for salvation know that their future is in Heaven.
Regardless of what may happen in our lives, that is the where we are going. We live lives full of certainty, in an uncertain world. In these times, let us go out and communicate the thoughts that God has for us, how He has given us a future and hope. So many people today are hopeless. We know that God cares for us.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
I Peter 3:15-17 NKJV
We will suffer.
It is better to suffer as Christ followers, on mission, than to have our witness diluted by politics or extremism.
Rejoice my people, as you are saved from the penalty of sin, made new and empowered to turn toward God. He has not forgotten you, and He is coming again. Seek Him today.
Go and serve your king!
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!