God knows our fears

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Our excuses tend to be our fears disguised. We may pretty them up as justifiable reasons to back out, but they’re not. They’re lazy alibis. Most times, we know that. It may be a relief that we’ve fooled others. Then again, there are many times, we’ve only managed to fool ourselves.

Now, I’m compelled to make sure you know I don’t mean you’re supposed to do everything everyone tells you. You’re not. We shouldn’t even do everything that comes to our minds. Some things are silly and wasteful, prideful and unfaithful.

But when it comes to the things God asks of us, we can let our fears go. If our faith is that our lives are in the hands of God Almighty, what are we still afraid of? If God is for us and no one can stand against us, why worry? Trusting that God is directing path should squash our fears. God’s not leading you anywhere God won’t be with you!

God told Jeremiah he would be a prophet to the nations. That is, he would be God’s mouthpiece to the world. What was Jeremiah’s excuse? I do not know how to speak. I’m only a boy.

Note how the Lord saw through his fear. God went on to tell the prophet-to-be, “Do not be afraid of them” (4:8). Jeremiah knew how to speak. He was old enough. But he was scared.

God knew.

God knows.

God always knows. 

When it comes to communion with God, what are your favorite excuses? Does the choir not sing your favorite songs? Is the game on? Did you forget church was on Sundays? Does learning to be in holy conversation with other saints make you uncomfortable? The best excuse many of us use is “that’s between me and the Lord.”

God knows what you’re afraid of. But God doesn’t change the calling. Maybe it’s time to stand more firm in the trust you have in God’s power. However feeble it may feel, more and more, it will grow stronger and begin to cloud your fears.

Stay blessed…john

All the years

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I’ve long held an image of my father-in-law in my mind. It’s ingrained in my faith, actually. At the time, he was in his mid-eighties. I passed by his room and saw him sitting in his chair. He was reading the Bible. His eyesight, of course, wasn’t what it used to be. So, he used a magnifying glass.

He was a retired pastor, having served the church his entire adult life. When I walked by I couldn’t resist the temptation. “Dad,” I began, “haven’t you figured out all that Bible stuff already?” He laughed and told me I’ll never figure it out.

That day came before I began my pastoral ministry. And it has inspired it ever since. I want to be the eighty-year-old reading the Bible. By then, I will have given the church my adult life, too. I’ll have spent decades reading the Bible and sharing its wisdom. Who knows how many daily devotionals or text messages I will have written by then? But I trust God will humble me enough to know, even after all that time, I still need to sit in my chair and read the Bible.

Our outer nature wastes away. That’s comes with living longer. It isn’t shameful or something we should hide. God’s design isn’t for our outer nature to preserve itself or grow younger. The Lord does renew our inner nature, though! With every passing day, our hope grows and our faith strengthens.

Our fear is that our suffering keeps us from God. It does not. We might wonder if the evil of the world is a sign God is not with us. It is not. As the Christmas hymn reminds us: the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. In Christ, God meets us in our hopes and fears.

So, while all may seem to be wasting away on the outside, God renews our heart and soul. As we seek God’s presence all the more, we become the examples those after us see and remember and follow.

Stay blessed…john