Today I consulted Matthew Henry on Jeremiah and learned a few interesting things.
Jeremiah began prophesying very young.
Possibly because of his youth his style was "more plain and rough and less polite."
"He was a suffering prophet. He was persecuted by his own people more than any" other prophet.
He was known as a "weeping prophet." "He was a mournful spectator of the sins of his people." I found this to be most enlightening because as I read Jeremiah I had a hard time visualizing myself being so harsh with people. This really confirmed everything I wrote Day 17: Sorrowful Truth Tellers. And we will read more about Jeremiah as the "weeping prophet" as he wrote Lamentations.
It's a wonder I've never read through Jeremiah before. The only verses I've ever heard from this book are Jeremiah 17:7-8 "Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord...." and of course, Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
And these are great verses, obviously. But how watered down does our faith and devotion to the living God become if we are silent about the things that made the weeping prophet weep?
It's scary to talk about the hard stuff. We're afraid it will steer people away, maybe we're even afraid it will steer ourselves away. But our faith, our lives become so much fuller, richer, and real when we realize how big, real, and holy our God is. That He's not something to joke around about. And that everything is 1000% more about who He is rather than who we are.
Sometimes I have these weird thoughts about my life when I wake up in the morning (as it is morning they are fresh on my mind now). How devoted am I to Jesus? How much is my faith affecting my moment-by-moment day-to-day interactions and decisions and feelings? And then I realize that that kind of speculation is altogether focused on the wrong thing. I'm not in this to look like a perfect Christian, to get answers right, or be more put together than before. I'm in this for Jesus. That's it.
I want my waking thoughts to be excited to hear from Jesus, excited to see what He wants to do in my life, in the world. I don't want to wake up assessing how spiritual I have been in my life. I want to wake up with my eyes fixed on Jesus.
And I know even this is not something I can accomplish without the help of the Lord. When I wake up in the morning, when I start doubting, when I feel afraid or depressed, God, remind me of who YOU are. I'm nothing apart from You and I need You.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good."