Faith over Success

The Bible has had its fair share of people who hit their limit and then some in their walks with God. Immediately the names Job, David and Peter all come to mind. Though the one that is often forgotten is the prophet Jeremiah.

He was called at a young age to be a prophet to Israel and the nations that surrounded it. For 40 years he spoke of Israel being brought into exile for its sins but also a message of hope for its restoration.

There was only one problem… nobody listened to him. He was abandoned, beaten, rejected, imprisoned and some even demanded his death! One can only imagine the pain, frustration and depression Jeremiah faced. It got so bad that Jeremiah cursed his own birth! (Jer. 20:14-20) 

Whats interesting is that from a world standpoint, Jeremiah failed, at no point did the Israelites listen to him and they were sent into exile for their sins. To God, he did exactly what he was told. He preached every one of God’s prophesies to the people no matter what.

We live in a world that craves success: the more money you have, the higher position you achieve, the awards you win are what matters to most today. What we so often overlook is that to God, it is not about success, but about faithfulness.

Jeremiah, was not the only one who had to learn this lesson the hard way, Take a look at this moment from chapter 29:

“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.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  Jeremiah 29:11-14

God Israelites to hold close to him during the exile; God told them how long they would be there, he didn’t tell them what would happen along the way. The Israelites would face pressure from all sides to give up their belief and walk away from God. Sure enough, they survived the exile and at the end, God delivered them from their enemies as He said he was.

I think that was something we forget to do. When we have the difficult times in our own lives where we don’t know where God is taking us, remember to stay close and have faith for God will be with us always. 

“Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.  For consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24

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