Do you ever doubt yourself or what you are doing? That used to be a constant state of living for me when I was in an abusive relationship. It doesn’t take someone else to make us question our choices, we often do a fine job of that on our own, especially if we’ve gotten “burned” before.
This reading starts with a statement that we’ve probably heard before out of context. Now we can see and understand the full beauty of this text. “Lord, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble!” Jeremiah recognized the source of his provision and protection. From what we’ve been reading, we can only imagine how weak Jeremiah felt.
When we can recognize and call on the power of God in our lives, it brings a comfort we didn’t necessarily expect. Like a byproduct, trusting in God can feel like a warm blanket on a cool evening. When we admit that we are powerless to control others and what is happening around us and to us, we have the wisdom to turn to our God who is mighty.
The LORD speaks to this power and how it will be revealed to the people. The audience first hearing this would understand these verses a bit differently. Before God acts, they are in denial about God’s majesty. They don’t have the awe and respect for God because they are so busy living their selfish lives.
In verse 21 I see God stating a fact that is true still today. For his first audience it was a wake-up call. What is it for you? Are you confident in the LORD? Do you desire his will and guidance?
What is the LORD saying? “Now I will show them my power; now I will show them my might. At last they will know and understand that I am the Lord.” God is clearly looking forward to that day when his children’s eyes are opened and they see him for who he is. It’s sad that they had to fall so far to anger God to the place where his power and might are going to be displayed in destruction and death.
For us, it’s a little different. Can you think of a time in your life when you recognized God’s power over a situation? Examples of answered prayer would show us perfectly that God is the one in control.
Our prayer of confidence is also in the LORD. We can call on Jeremiah’s words to remind us! The prophet Isaiah also spoke wisdom about this. In Isaiah 41:10 he proclaims, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Where does your confidence come from? Do you rely on your own abilities more than you rely on God? The abilities I have the most confidence in are the ones I truly believe God has gifted me. What an honor it is to serve God using those very abilities. Don’t you think God gave us the abilities he did for a reason? I do, and that reason is to give him glory.
Let’s pray … Lord, you are so good, and I am so thankful for the way you have gifted me. May I use my gifts to glorify you and draw others to you. Forgive me for those times when I have questioned your leading or gotten my confidence from the wrong source. Help me to follow you and feel the strength you give me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.