7Yahweh, you have persuaded me, and I was persuaded.
You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day.
Everyone mocks me.
8For as often as I speak, I cry out;
I cry, “Violence and destruction!”
because Yahweh’s word has been made a reproach to me,
and a derision, all day.
9If I say that I will not make mention of him,
or speak any more in his name,
then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary with holding it in.
10For I have heard the defaming of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce, and we will denounce him!”
say all my familiar friends,
those who watch for my fall.
“Perhaps he will be persuaded,
and we will prevail against him,
and we will take our revenge on him.”
11But Yahweh is with me as an awesome mighty one.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble,
and they won’t prevail.
They will be utterly disappointed
because they have not dealt wisely,
even with an everlasting dishonor which will never be forgotten.
12But Yahweh of Armies, who tests the righteous,
who sees the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for I have revealed my cause to you.
Jeremiah did not have an easy life, he preached for over 40 years and no one listened. He declared the words that God gave him and was ridiculed for it. His message of holiness in a world that wanted unlimited freedom, made him wildly unpopular. He was beaten, thrown into pits and eventually dragged off to Egypt. Yet in all of this his obedience never wavered. He cried out to God, I do what you ask me to do and people hate me for it, but if I try to stay quiet the words build up in me until they burst out. I cannot keep from speaking your word.
To be honest I don’t know if I would have the fortitude of Jeremiah. His life of obedience was difficult beyond belief, and if success was measured in converts then his mission pretty much failed. The people only wanted to listen to prophets that told them everything was ok and they had nothing to worry about. How on earth did he keep going?
The answer is simple, yet very difficult, Jeremiah understood that the higher purposes of God outweighed his personal comfort and pleasure. Dr. Randall Smyth says that we live in a world where we expect everything that offends us to be moved out of our way. However, what we need to do is to understand that our occasional dissatisfaction is often making way for God’s bigger picture. As believers there are times when we need to be uncomfortable for the sake of the Kingdom. When I think of my own life I am quick to complain when things don’t go my way, yet I am slow to remember that throughout the world even at this very hour people are being martyred for their faith in God. Today this is my prayer, Lord forgive me when my desire for comfort outweighs my desire to be obedience to your will.