Life can be filled with difficulty and pain, and serving God can seem beyond our abilities.
The prophet Jeremiah understood these realities. Jeremiah experienced almost every kind of difficulty and persecution imaginable. Because he was faithful to God’s message, he was excommunicated from the temple, thrown in a dungeon, and locked up in stocks. He became the laughingstock of Jerusalem and his friends sought to undermine him. No wonder Jeremiah complained to God concerning his plight.
What can we learn from Jeremiah’s struggles?
First, difficulty and pain comes to all–especially those who seek to serve God. Where did we get the idea that the people of God should be immune from suffering? Why do we expect ungodly people to act in Godly ways?
Jeremiah suffered precisely because he sought to be obedient to God.
Second, real growth comes only when we are honest with God and with ourselves. Jeremiah spoke to God with the truth as he perceived it. He spoke honestly and he spoke to God. We will gain little help and understanding if we aren’t honest. When we talk honestly to God, we will find help for our questions and hurts.
Third, look honestly at your part in the struggle. Often, we look for other people to blame and do not look at the part we contribute to our struggles. Real growth only comes when we are willing to take an honest look at what we need to change and make those changes.
Fourth, ask God to bless and help you as you deal with your needs. While Jeremiah complained to God, he never abandoned God and God never abandoned him.
We can live with struggles, but we can’t live without God. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Live with God and you will find strength for your journey.
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