*Hello everyone! This week I am happy to announce that a guest blogger Kim Graves, will be sharing some insight in to the book of Jeremiah! She has incredible insight into scripture and has encouraged me my whole life to dig deeper into the Word of God. I pray that her words bless you today!
This morning I spent time again in the book of Jeremiah. At first glance it may not appear to be the first place you would go for encouragement, but so many aspects of the nation of Israel parallels our world today. It was an unprecedented time of rebellion and stubbornness as they refused to turn from their wickedness and serve the God who created them, sustained them, delivered them and kept his promise in spite of their unfaithfulness. Throughout this book, Jeremiah was God’s messenger to warn them of impending judgement, devastation, and destruction that lie ahead. Day after day the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah to help the Israelites see their outward piety and once again turn to the Lord who desired restoration and fulfillment of their divine destiny. Let's look at this concept today in some detail as we walk through some passages from Jeremiah.
Many of us have heard or read Jeremiah 29:11 where God is promising hope, prosperity, and a great future ahead, but often we forget to read the previous verse which says this will happen AFTER 70 years of exile in Babylon. God fulfills his promise out of a very painful experience. It’s not that our heavenly father desires pain for us, but he will do whatever it takes to restore us to our divine destiny. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to endure some painful experiences in my life so I could look up and see God’s providential hand at work leading me to my destiny. Even this past weekend as we celebrated Mother’s Day, I was reminded of the devastation of a barren womb as we longingly prayed for the miracle of children. In God’s sovereignty he allowed me to experience the heartache of being childless so I could identify with others in these circumstances. He also wanted me to appreciate and not take for granted the two miracle babies He allowed to enter my life. Had I not experienced this devastation, I would not have pursued adoption. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God tells us that his thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours and they will ultimately achieve his purpose and plans.
Jeremiah chapters 30 and 31 are filled with God’s plans to return the Israelites back to their homeland allowing them to experience restoration on both a physical and spiritual level. He never intended to leave them despondent or in despair, but rather He longed for sweet communion once again. This time instead of writing it on tablets of stone, He said he would put his teachings in their mind and write it on their heart so that ALL would come to know him as Lord and Savior. If you are experiencing devastation right now in any area of your life, God does not intend to leave you in despair but desires to bring you to your divine destiny in Christ Jesus. Fill your mind with his Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart reminding you his compassions are new every morning – great is his faithfulness, Lamentations 3:22,23.
Also in Jeremiah chapter 32, the Lord instructed Jeremiah to go to Jerusalem and purchase a field in Anathoth even though they were in a battle and the city was under siege and being handed over to the Chaldeans. Jeremiah recounts to God all of the prophecy of punishment and destruction that had come to pass thus far and questioned why he needed to buy a field in a land where they were being defeated. I can relate as sometimes I look around and feel like I am being defeated. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to fix it. My natural eyes only see my physical circumstances so I must release my mind to let God show me heaven’s point of view. I must let the word of the Lord come to me as it did to Jeremiah over and over again.
The word of the Lord came once again to Jeremiah in chapter 32 with the most beautiful truth!!"Look, I am the Lord the God over every creature. Is anything too difficult for me?"
In the midst of devastation and destruction God still had a plan. God said what you see now is defeat, famine, and plague but I will gather them from all the lands ... and will return them to this place and make them live in safety. "They will be my people and I will be their God. I will give them integrity of heart and action so they will fear me always, for their good and for the good of their descendants after them."
Continuing on in chapter 33, the word of the Lord comes again with this wonderful challenge and promise even though Jeremiah is confined to the guard's courtyard and still under house arrest. We are reminded that God's Word and actions are not bound by our circumstances."Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know." (vs 3) "Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance of true peace" (vs 6) It’s like God is saying, step out in faith and just see what I will do; it will blow your mind!
Finally, chapter 33 verses 7-8 really speaks to a three-fold promise that so touched my heart this morning I will restore.... I will purify.... I will forgive....
Restoration will not accomplish what is needed unless there is purification. And unless there is true repentance, then forgiveness will not accomplish a true change in our course of action. It’s his work not ours, so let go and let God have full reign that divine destiny can be manifested even in the face of devastation.
My heart's cry this morning is:
Lord purify us and restore us for your glory!! May we truly repent and turn from our path of sin and destruction that you may forgive and purify and restore!! This is the only successful cycle that will ever bring true peace!! You are destined for victory!!
"Give thanks to the Lord of Armies, for the Lord is good; his FAITHFUL LOVE endures forever". Jeremiah 33:11