The Lord called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations…a big role with a lot of responsibility. It was not something that Jeremiah felt necessarily equipped to do. He immediately tried to convince the Lord that he was far too young for such a calling. It reminds me of Moses’ response. Who me? No one will listen. So often, that is our response to God. Whatever it is that He is calling us to do…we always have a reason why we are not the right ones to do it.
As I read over the first chapter of Jeremiah, I was reminded of the faith that it takes to live the Christian life. If we are going to fulfill the holy plans that God has for us…we need a Jeremiah kind of faith.
Jeremiah had to have faith in God’s plan.
God has a plan for each of us. I love the verse that appears later in Jeremiah…
For I know the plans I have for you – declares the Lord – plans for your welfare, not disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB
Jeremiah had to trust in God and His plan. He had to believe that this was bigger than himself and something that was set in motion long before his existence. If we are going to serve God and be of any use to Him, we must surrender completely to Him and have faith in the plan that He has devised.
Jeremiah had to have faith in God’s promise.
God promised to set Jeremiah over the nations. He promised to put the very words of God in Jeremiah’s mouth. He promised to be with him and to deliver him. Sometimes, I look around me and have no clue what is going on or how I got to where I am. I could easily become discouraged. It is at those times that I have to go back to God’s Word and read again the promises He has made and have faith He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23.)
Jeremiah had to have faith in God’s presence.
When God told Moses that He wanted him to go to Pharoah and demand the release of God’s children…God promised to be with him…I will certainly be with you (Exodus 3:12.) After the death of Moses, God tells Joshua that he is now in charge of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. God’s promise to Joshua? …As I was with Moses, so I will be with you (Joshua 1:5.) God’s promise to Jeremiah? For I am with you to deliver you (Jeremiah 1:8, 19.)
God is well aware of what His presence means to His people. Some of my darkest days have been those when I have felt the farthest from God. But, I have to remind myself that those are just feelings. I love what Eugene Peterson says about feelings in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction…
My feelings are important for many things. They are essential and valuable. They keep me aware of much that is true and real. But they tell me next to nothing about God or my relation to God. My security comes from who God is, not from how I feel.
I would add that my security comes from, not only who God is, but where He is. He is always near…always with me. As He was with Moses…and Joshua…and Jeremiah…so He is with me.