I just started another Bible Study; I have a habit of doing several at a time. I bought the book last week, and kind of flipped through the pages but had not sat down to dive into the content until this morning. The study is called “Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World” written by Melissa Spoelstra. I must tell you that I am completely blown away at the depth and content of this study! It is really good!
The first chapter talks about Surrendering, “raising the white flag” which I thought was really interesting. It is quite obvious that we are in a world of sin, of defiant behavior and a turning away from God. Reading the newspapers every day proves that theory.
God is very detailed in his Word; He has always given us clear instructions and an excellent guide of instruction, the “Bible.” He calls each and every one of us and gives us each a gift and a purpose. Our role in life is to follow his leading and direction and complete the task that He has given us. He knew our capabilities even before we were born. (Jeremiah 29:11). The study goes on to say that, “God’s mission for us as followers of Jesus is to go when and where He sends, to speak His words, and prepare for action without fear.” That is the key, He is given us all the tools that we need for his mission, but we must overcome and put away our own insecurities and fear. Fear is a show stopper; it will paralyze us in our tracks, preventing the completion of things that we are fully capable of doing. It is Satan’s main strategy along with self doubt to try and stop the work of God. Satan knows he cannot stop God, but he can use his vessels to stop the completion of our purpose.
Pride is another thing that often gets in the way. God has also covered that problem with a solution: “in Luke 9:23 he instructs us to turn from our own selfish ways. Take up the Cross daily, and follow Him.” Note the word daily, I guess he knows that we need to do this on a consistent basis!
The author made one statement in the first chapter that really drew me in, “Delivering and obeying God’s message of surrender takes faith and obedience. Once we’ve taken that step, it is often tested by fire.” In the study of Jeremiah, it gives a good example of that in Jeremiah 38:4-6 when it discussed Jeremiah’s result even after he was faithful to God’s direction. Jeremiah was dropped in the cistern, and sank in the mud.
“Sometimes even when we obey completely, we end up in a pit. Life still happens, friends may betray us, husbands leave, jobs are lost, health declines instead of improves.” “
“These are the times when we need to trust God’s greater plan even though our circumstances are screaming foul”
That should not happen right; I mean we are doing what we are supposed to do? The answer is knowing God, and who He is, and trusting with obedience to see that God has the overall plan, the “big picture” even when it makes no human sense. Oh and by the way, God didn’t leave Jeremiah in the pit, he actually sent thirty men to get him out, and there was no water in the cistern, it was only mud to hold him temporarily. So even though Jeremiah didn’t know what was going on, God did, and Jeremiah just kept being obedient.
To sum it up remember this, “God wants to give us rich, satisfying abundant life (John 10:10), and He knows we won’t find it apart from Him.” The key is for us to realize this as well. Trust in Him, no matter what you think or see in your mind, and know that “Our ways are not His ways”, His ways are better!