Jeremiah was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. Although he was faithful in proclaiming the truth to the people and constantly warned them of the impending judgement of God he saw almost no results, yet he continued to proclaim the truth his entire life. In chapter 20 he, like all of us, has a down moment and is discouraged to the point that he says he will not speak any more in His(God’s) name. That weak moment, however, was followed by an amazing declaration. “But His word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

Isn’t that the way it is in the true Christians life? First, the truth burns within us and cannot be contained or hidden, it must be spoken. Second, that truth will often alienate us from family, friends, contemporaries in the faith and those in authority and we will have to stand alone. Third, we will suffer persecution to one degree or another, severe or mild. It was that way with the prophets of old, the disciples and Jesus Himself. Why would we expect it to be different with us? Jesus said that if we follow Him we will have trouble.

Today, a large number of Christians find themselves comfortable within their circle of friends and church family at the subtle expense of a shallow relationship with the Lord. A relationship in which they are unable to know beyond a shallow of a doubt that the Holy Spirit has spoken to them. For that is the bottom line of the Christian life, to know His voice, and as one preacher said many years ago “where the rubber meets the road”.

A ship is built to haul cargo but if it remains in the harbor it will not do what it was designed to do. Yes, it will be safe from the storms of the sea, but of what use is it? The true Christian must speak the burning that is within his heart, step out in faith, weather the storms of life and be faithful until the end in order to receive the gift of eternal life.

In the following verses Jeremiah says that “But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one”. The Lord delivered Jeremiah out of all his troubles and he lived to be an old man faithful to his calling.

Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeons, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Posted on September 23rd, 2013