5 March 2023: Trusting God when times are difficult

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

5 March 2023




“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

We have mentioned already the very difficult calling that Jeremiah had in times that were very traumatic for the nation of Israel. Israel, spiritually speaking, was in a very bad place, and they had sunk back to the low places the Lord had brought them out of on previous occasions, the lowest being, the worship of idols. The Lord chastened them for spiritual adultery and warned them what the outcome would be if they insisted on going their own ways, but this they persisted in doing. The result was exile in Babylon and in Egypt.

The Lord gave Jeremiah very difficult messages to give to the king and the people who rejected them. Right at the outset, the Lord had warned:

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.  Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.  They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:8-10, 17-19

We, too, must stand firm on the word of God and be faithful in proclaiming it, no matter what the opposition.

And like Jeremiah found, in the midst of all this darkness and difficulty, the Lord also gave him prophetic insight into the long-term future and what a future that was going to be, a future of great blessing in fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:2-3). The Lord was going to deal with Israel’s ongoing inability to keep His law. He was going to raise up a “righteous branch” (Jeremiah 23:5), a good shepherd who would rule in the place of the evil shepherds of Jeremiah’s time.

This new thing that the Lord was going to do, would be so much greater than even the exodus from Egypt (Jeremiah 23:7-8). The Lord’s new covenant would succeed, were, because if the weakness of human nature, the other one failed. The Lord would put His law in people’s minds and write it on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

All this was, and is, and will finally be fulfilled through Jesus Christ. The Lord will prosper His people and not harm them, will give them hope and a future. So, even in the darkest of times, we can see the Lord breakthrough with – His power, His revelation, His vision, His promises, His plans to prosper us, and not to harm us, His plans to give us hope and a future, Amen!

Quote of the week

“When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted friendship – when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.”

Oswald Chambers.

Verse of the week

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, these are difficult days we live in, when Your word is being regarded as irrelevant, even illegal in parts. Father, strengthen Your Church that we may be bold, faithful, and let us not grow weary in doing good for You promise that at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Fill us, in our weakness, with Your Holy Spirit’s power and anointing, for Your Glory and the building of Your Church, in Jesus Christ Name, Amen!