Thought for the Week - 16th August

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Jeremiah 20: 14-18

Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!
Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,
“A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad.
And let that man be like the cities
Which the Lord overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
Why did I come forth from the womb to see labour and sorrow,
That my days should be consumed with shame?

These are the words of Jeremiah, cursing the day he was born and questioning why he had to live to feel such sorrow and shame. It may seem unfathomable to some that this great prophet of God would feel and speak such things. As uncomfortable as these things are to hear within the church, for some it can be real life. For most of us, how we feel and think fluctuates. We can find ourselves in distress and perhaps identify with Jeremiah to varying degrees and at different points in our lives. Just as God was with Jeremiah, merciful and faithful, He is with us also.   At times our sight can become foggy and muddied as the things of this world clog us up spiritually. Sin, troubles, depressions, confusions, and temptations can come to us all, but it is our initiative to ensure we remain right before God and our focus is not clouded.   Jeremiah was aware of the state of his mind and heart, he knew he had to get back to being right before God once more. We read he proclaimed the truth, the mighty power of the living God, praised Him, and gave thanks for what He had done. The word of God burned within Jeremiah’s heart. Yes, he felt low, he cried out, and at one point he refused to speak God’s name, but he couldn’t ignore the burning truth inside him. He knew his calling, and he knew he had to get himself right and back on the path that was meant for him.   We can find ourselves in the wrong place, but we can get out of it. However, it is us that need to take the initiative to get ourselves right again.   If you find yourself dragged down, don’t allow yourself to get stuck there. Re-establish what is right and true, proclaim God’s word, repent before the Lord, and be cleansed once more. He will not withhold His mercy and grace from you. He will set your feet back on the path and steady you as you continue on to fulfil the purpose you were planned for.
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