“…this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.” – Jeremiah 25:3
What was keeping Jeremiah going in this ministry? We see him pronouncing God’s judgment up to this point. We have seen him beaten for it. We also see God telling him to teach some object lessons that required Jeremiah to do things he would not normally do (see chapter 13). God told him not to get married and not to have any children (see chapter 16). Other object lessons he was told to perform in front of the people are the potter and the clay (chapter 18) and the sign of the broken flask (chapter 19). Even after all of this, the people would not listen…but Jeremiah kept going.
There was a time where Jeremiah tried stopping and just wanted to give up. We see this in chapter twenty. Jeremiah was praying and recalling how everyone was mocking him and how the people plotted to kill him. In verse nine of that chapter he decided, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” Jeremiah decided he was done. He had enough of that life and preaching about God. He probably just wanted to live quietly and find a job and work towards retirement. Just a quiet and simple life. But then Jeremiah goes on and says, “but His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”
As Christ followers, there will be many occasions where we will feel like Jeremiah. Some will like us, many will not. Many will not listen to the message of truth we bring that was given to us by the Lord. We may even get to the point where we feel like giving up and just want to throw up our hands say we are done spreading the gospel. Jeremiah tried that but God’s Word continued to burn within him and he could not keep quiet.
Are you at a place today where you feel like giving up? Are you experiencing overwhelming challenges in your ministry that make you feel like giving up? Do you ever wonder if anything you do or say is making an impact? Be encouraged, you are in good company with Jeremiah! May God’s Word continue to burn within you and may you fulfill the calling that God has given to you no matter what the cost!
“It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us” – Oswald Chambers