READING: Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21
I confess that though I’ve been in full-time ministry for more than 40 years, I know little of what Jeremiah experienced in today’s reading. What I have experienced is the “fire in my bones” that necessitates my preaching the Word of God even when the work got tough . . . when God’s expectation was that I would preach a hard, necessary word . . . when it seemed no one wanted to hear in the first place (including the people of God) because of their sin. The heat of my fire was likely no comparison to what the prophet felt, but something inside me nevertheless compelled me into spoken obedience. Sometimes, too, I suspect I’ve succumbed to sinful despair in the toughest times.
What I have not experienced is arrest and beating at the hands of my opponents for speaking God’s truth. Even if I were to wrongly use “persecution” language for any opposition I’ve faced, my own definition would not fit physical beating. Other believers around the world, though, do indeed suffer such attacks. They speak truth, pay a price, but still choose to continue to speak even when it brings more pain. My sense today is that I need to pray throughout this day for brothers and sisters in just such situations.
May the Lord give them strength . . . and guard them from despair.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: How much do you pray for believers on the front lines?
DAILY PRAYER: “Father, You have been good to grant me safety in my obedience. Help others around the world today who pay a physical price for their service to remain faithful and trusting.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Daniel 2:1-3:30, Jeremiah 7:1-8:3