READING: Jeremiah 35-37, Hebrews 1-2
If you listen to enough preachers around the world today, it won’t be long before you hear something like, “If you follow Jesus, He’ll give to you abundantly. He wants to bless you beyond compare, and you just need to claim your right and your blessing.” It would seem, in fact, that some proclaimers are convinced that all will always be well for Christ-followers; any trouble is more a lack of faith than the plan of God.
Jeremiah’s story shows us otherwise, however. He was a faithful, diligent, burdened prophet who did what God called him to do. His message was not a popular one, but Jeremiah was not interested in popularity; he knew he needed to do whatever God commanded. That he did—only to find himself imprisoned: “The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison. So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and stayed there many days” (Jer 37:15-16). Indeed, his story to this point had often been one of threat and attack (e.g., Jer 11:21, 20:2, 26:8, 36:26). Faithfulness was no ticket out of trouble.
Some of our brothers and sisters around the world know these threats experientially, for they face the same issues in their own lives. What is remarkable and challenging is their willingness to remain faithful regardless of the cost. This weekend as your church gathers to worship, would you please say a prayer for all those believers who will pay a cost today for their obedience?
PRAYER: “Father, I do pray now for those brothers and sisters. Grant them faith to stay focused on You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day