A COMFORTING LETTER
"I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end."-- Jer_29:11.
WE HAVE much to learn from the good advice given in this letter.
These exiles were unwilling to settle in the land to which they had been transported. They were always fretting and planning; talking of the past and contriving plans for returning to their own land and to the inheritance which they had forfeited. Therefore this letter was sent, not only to them, but to all in similar circumstances.
Are you in captivity? Your circumstances are the restraint and fetters that hold you. No prisoner in a cell could be more helpless than you are. You cannot do as you would, but you can be. Be the best you can where you are, and wait the Lord's leisure. It is by fidelity in discharging present obligations that you become fitted for better work.
Consider the needs of those around you (Jer_29:7). In this the story of Joseph is a remarkable example. When he was cast into prison, he set to work to minister to the prisoners there. What a light and comfort emanated from him, as he went to and fro among them, taking a personal interest in each--"Wherefore look ye so sadly to-day?" (Gen_40:6-7). In the peace of those to whom we minister, we shall find Our own peace.
Words of comfort and hope were spoken to the captives.
Hard though their outward lot seemed, God was thinking thoughts of peace, not of evil, with respect to them. So with us; we may be having a bad time; it may appear as though everything were against us, hard, comfortless, uninviting. But in His holy heaven God is thinking about you, and His thoughts are those of peace, and not of evil. Therefore the horizon is flushed with hope.
There is a good time coming, and you will forget this present, as waters that pass away. There is an allotted time to your present trouble. God will surely visit you, and perform His good word towards you.
In the meanwhile, we must live a life of constant prayer. "Ye shall call upon Me, and I will hearken unto you; ye shall seek Me, and I will be found of you" (Jer_29:12-14). We must live in a spirit of prayer and faith and converse with God. For all these things God will be enquired of, to do them.
For all Thy gracious care of us we reverently thank Thee, and if Thou hast permitted things to happen which have tried us sore and filled us with bitterness, help us to believe in Thine infinite love which chastens us, that through the discipline of our life we may be made partakers of Thy holiness. AMEN.
Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
Jer 29:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
Jer 29:9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
That portion of verse 7, jumps out at me, for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. That is profound, in the acceptance of where I am, as said in the below post, with a new heart and now a new open door where I am, it speaks volumes to us all.
The ones who feel stuck, captive, and that would be the way I have felt, it is surrender, acceptance and what happens, peace, it comes from doing what your called to do right where you are, while you are there, until, and if, you are moved on. Opportunities to worship the lord, and minister are everywhere in all places, and like it or not bloom where you are planted until the lord says time to move on.
I have had a long, hard battle with this, a very hard time with this, but with my new heart transplant and events that just happened and now this word, wow, I understand. It is the same as when Jesus said he who is faithful in little ( the little thing ) will be taken to a higher calling, a bigger responsibility ( paraphrase), it is a test of faithfulness and we can not by pass that step of testing.
The next verses give us a lesson on some things that can take our peace, and current duties from us, false prophets, false doctrine, false everything, deception, the word says , let no man steal your crown, false doctrine, false prophets, false dreams do just that, they become tangents and the little foxes that steal our fruit, our fruit consists of peace and joy does it not, and so with out knowing many have lost there peace and joy because of false tangents.
1. You may be following a person, a doctrine, a new thing, but it could be deception, and you have become addicted to the fear mongering and false words of peace, peace, but you continue to feed on the false and reject truth, the truth of the word. That takes peace, and blessing away, because the lord will not bless the one teaching deception, or the one following it. It is only a false peace and you know it.
2. Caving in, giving up on truth because it is demanding and many want an easy way, a less hard road, less trials, anything in exchange for a day or two of peace. This will never work, or last, because it is not the real deal, or the truth of the word, and the true heart of the lord.
3. Taking a vacation from your problems, by way of laying low, not praying watching movie after movie and T.V. show after T.V. show.
It reminds me of a line in a great old song by a great old band Super Tramp, the song is called RUDY, the lyric reads.
Rudy’s just come out , the movie, numb of all his pain, sad, but in a while he’ll soon be back on that train.
Classic, from ‘Crime of the Century’ the best album ever recorded in my opinion, it says the movie will numb the pain for 2 hours or so, but shortly after wards the numbing effect wares off and your back on the train of reality.
I am not a legalist; I watch a movie now and than, I myself had to get that under subjection, because I do independent movie scripts, sound tracks and have done post-production, work. I was a movie fanatic; it was an addiction, so I must watch my self closely on that, an old love from the old man. No matter if you think your , just taking some mental R and R, and we all need that, it can become an addiction, next thing we know, days, weeks have passed and we are with no joy, no peace, full of fear, because we neglected time with our lord, the lord our peace.
You see I could go on, King David said in the Psalms, if he were a bird and had wings he would fly far away out to the wilderness to a place to get away, we all feel that at times, but we must also always get back on the train of reality.
This is what holidays do, they help people to busy themselves, after like, today, or in a few days, all the gifts unwrapped, the dinners over the lights may still be on, but deep inside the light has gone out, it did not last, a false peace by the flesh, false prophets, false words will never bring a lasting peace, this is why we read , to whom shall we go lord, you alone have the words of eternal life. It is all Jesus, right in the middle of our life storm, and nothing else can compare to time spent in prayer and the word.
Maybe many others could use a heart transplant, return to your first love, forsake the tangents, get on the train of the real, and the out come will be what you are looking for, there is no other way.
The lord know his plans for his remnant ones, and they are good, we are in and coming into the 100% fall of America, how can we have peace, joy? Well as we read above the captives were told to do this, acceptance in their captivity and the out come is peace, it is all about accepting our lot, ministering where we are planted and waiting on the lord for our next move.
The word is a lamp unto our feet, not a spot light, we are shown a few steps ahead and no more, as we are in school for the eternal life and this requires a walk of faith, it all comes down to faith.
May the lord grant you acceptance today, no fear of the days ahead, joy, peace, and a settled heart of acceptance, right in the place where you are.