When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O lord God of Heaven’s Armies. I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins. Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.” This is how the lord responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! Jeremiah 15:16-19 NLT
Is it safe? Can I trust God?
We wonder these things in times of turmoil. Yes we take Your Word, and consume it voraciously, but will it satisfy hunger? Will it set us free? Or will we be left alone wandering?
Jeremiah shared our grief. Why the hurt and pain God? You could fix it but you don’t. Our human tendency is to throw up hands and say screw it. If You aren’t going to help why waste time studying and clinging to the Word?
His faithful actions from the past lose meaning as we swirl. So what if You helped last time, where are You now?
Intervention seems sporadic and undependable. It makes us angry. Turning our backs, shame tells us He was never on our side in the first place. We are unworthy and God’s love was illusion.
Is He safe? Can we trust Him? Is this God thing real?
God speaks to Jeremiah in this moment and basically tells him to stop whining and doubting and start speaking truth.
God doesn’t back down, give in to our weakness, or doubt Himself. No. Rather He commands us to stick our feet out, stop the trip down the my life sucks twisty slide, and begin the ascent back up to Him.
He instructs us to speak truth and serve Him, not just when it hurts, but specifically when it hurts. This is how we know Him deeper in our suffering – by allowing Him to shape us in and by the fire.
Can He be trusted? Is He safe? My answer is yes. Not because He is a God that rescues through escapism, because often He doesn’t. I trust because He places the protective covering of His Word around my heart so suffering does not consume.
He cares enough to grow us and at times this means we must be vulnerable enough to experience pain.
Is it safe to trust God? The answer is yes. So what do we do then?
Let us speak His Word over our lives. Even when it hurts and hope feels distant. His Word is faithful and true. When we speak it there is power. It tranforms us and changes others. This is our measure of safety. Not that He eliminates suffering but rather His love consumes us in times of pain. He keeps us safe. Even when we don’t understand. There is purpose in the pain. Let that alone bring us to a place of worship.