Says the Lord: If you return and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair, then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile, cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness, you shall be My mouthpiece. The world will fight, but it will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save and deliver you, says the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.
Jeremiah 15:19-21 AMP
Don't we all know someone who is in constant despair? "I'm too tired;" "My day was horrible;" "I'm broke;" "There's nothing here I want to eat;" "I hate going to work;" "I don't want to get out of bed." Perhaps you have been the guilty one, boiling over with all your "I wish," "I can't," and "I don't want to." I know I have been there on more than one occasion. Actually, just this past week, God and my husband have really been trying to get me to see the light. I am the world's worst at proclaiming I'm broke. It's my way of saying, "We shouldn't really spend money frivolously," but it translates to those I say it to and then eventually to myself as "Life is horrible; I can't buy things." What a ridiculous ruler by which to measure life! The sad thing is we all have things we go into despair over. We act like damsels in stone towers waiting on a horse-riding hero when we have already been saved and released from our despair.
In the book of Jeremiah, we learn about a man who had much more to deal with than buying things, choosing what to eat, and getting to work on time. Jeremiah had an assignment from the Lord that was much more difficult than what many of us have ever faced. His job was to look an entire nation in the face and say (my paraphrase, of course,) "God is really, and I mean really, mad at you. He is sending an army to defeat, capture, and scatter you, and it's your own fault." God was fed up with Israel's unfaithfulness, and He sent Jeremiah to be His mouthpiece. He told Jeremiah not to pray for the people of Israel, simply to warn them of the coming consequences to their actions. Jeremiah was terrified. There were many false profits in the land proclaiming the exact opposite of the message he had; he wasn't sure if the people would listen to him or what their reactions would be. Would they attempt to take his life? And when the opposing army came in, would he, too, be killed or captured? Those ideas were more than enough for Jeremiah to second guess the assignment. God looked Jeremiah square in the heart and said to him, "Give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair." When I read this, it hit me so hard I literally felt it in my stomach. Read it again:
Give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair.
Jeremiah was mistaken. I am mistaken. You are mistaken. We are not in despair. To say that we are is to say we do not trust God with our lives. Jeremiah didn't trust God to work it out. He didn't trust that God would protect him even though it was God who sent him to that exact place. We are the same way. We do not trust God to protect us, provide for us, heal us, comfort us, or make the way. Instead, we live in constant dramatic agony wondering what horrible thing will befall us next, waiting to pinpoint all the disadvantages and unfair circumstances that plague our lives. God told Jeremiah, and He is telling us, too: Cleanse your heart of the unwarranted suspicions of My faithfulness. He has never given us a reason to believe He is unfaithful. We should not let despair overtake our minds and hearts and shadow our confidence in our God Almighty. When you find yourself in a place of distress, remember God's word: You are mistaken. You are not in despair. Give it up. When we do that, we open the doors of our lives for light to shine through and scatter the shadows. It is then that we will see the truth: Nothing can prevail over us because He is with us to save and deliver us.
This devotional was written by Megan Forsyth Bolton. If you need prayer or just someone to talk with, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook.