Our Daily Bread
- READ: Jeremiah 20:7-13
His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back. —Jeremiah 20:9
Jeremiah has been called “the weep- ing prophet.” He may have had a sensitive
and melancholic disposition that was compounded by his heartbreak over
God’s judgment on disobedient Israel. His capacity for sorrow is
amazing: “Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night!” (Jer. 9:1).
As if sorrow for his nation were not enough, Jeremiah was persecuted for
his prophetic message of judgment. In one instance, Jeremiah was
imprisoned in a cistern filled with mire (Jer. 38:6). Opposition to his
ministry had gotten the great prophet stuck in a place of despair.
Sometimes in our attempts to serve the Lord, we can feel stuck in painful
circumstances and surprising heartache. But the prophet’s resilience
should inspire us to persevere. Jeremiah’s sense of divine call was so
strong that he could not be deterred from serving the Lord. “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” (Jer. 20:9).
Have the results of your service for the Lord been disappointing? Ask Him to renew your heart by His Spirit, and continue to serve God despite your
setbacks. —Dennis Fisher
Be not weary in your serving;
Do your best for those in need;
Kindnesses will be rewarded
By the Lord who prompts the deed. —Anon.
No service for Christ is insignificant.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.