July 13, Friday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), currently serves as a staff at the Church of Southland, Anaheim, California.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“When News Can’t Remain Untold” 

Jeremiah 20:7-13   

O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the Lord has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. 10 For I have heard the whispering of many, “Terror on every side! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!” All my trusted friends, Watching for my fall, say: “Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail  against him And take our revenge on him.” 11 But the Lord is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten. 

Have you ever had news that you could barely hold in and couldn’t wait to share? This could be a birth announcement, a gender reveal, a new job, an opportunity of a lifetime in a new city, a dream fulfilled, or an answered prayer after long seasons of waiting. You celebrated in your heart and couldn’t wait to celebrate with others about the news.

In this morning’s passage, Jeremiah describes how he had news for Judah that he could barely hold in—but his words for Judah didn’t derive from joy and celebration, nor for further celebration. Rather, he strived with all his might to keep God’s message of judgment for Judah to himself, for fear of backlash and persecution; but God’s message was in his heart like a burning fire. It was weary to hold it in, so Jeremiah could not let God’s message remain untold. In obeying God’s role for him as a prophet, Jeremiah now complains to the Lord for the mockery and beating he has received. In the most recent instance, he was put into prison by Pashhur the priest. In this prayer to the Lord, we see the deep, emotional, yet unique life path of the prophet Jeremiah.

How can we appreciate these portions of Scripture in which the complaints of God’s servant are recorded? In Jeremiah, we get to observe the honest humanity of a servant of God, and see how he faced difficult situations. He wrestles with fear, despair, and disappointment towards God, just as we do. He vacillates between wanting to quit being a witness for God because of the scorn that comes with it, and sensing that he must speak out loud what God has given him to say. In feeling disappointed that God didn’t quickly deliver him, and feeling as if God deceived him, he poured out his honest emotions before God. By sincerely wrestling before God, Jeremiah was again able to trust God’s wisdom for the result of his witness, by calling God “his dread champion.”

Has God been planting convictions in you that you resist to act on because of the possibility of pushback and backlash? Bring your concerns and fears to God and entrust yourself to the One who exercises wisdom over the outcome of your works.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as your son/daughter, I can pour out my soul to You and wrestle with all of my honest emotions before You. When I have a hard time believing in Your goodness and can only sense the chaos and discomfort around me, I pray that You would sustain me and help me to wait upon You as You are the lifter of my head. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Daniel 4


Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 3:1-8: O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. 2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. 3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; you have shattered the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.

Questions to Consider

  1. What was David going through when he wrote this psalm?
  2. What does this psalm describe about security and peace in God for the believer?
  3. David says, “…for the Lord sustains me”—In what ways in your life right now do you need the Lord to sustain you?

Notes

  1. He was facing trouble and distress as he fled from his son Absalom. Absalom had led a rather successful rebellion against David and friends, and subjects of David had joined Absalom’s side. Even people around David were convinced that there is no help for David in God (v. 2).
  2. In David’s distress, and by the way he prays to God, the psalm reveals how those who are in God could experience unshakeable peace and security, and believe the shield of God that covers them. In the midst of trouble, David could even sleep, because his security in God is firm.
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

Psalm 3:4: “I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.”

Jeremiah 20:11: “But the Lord is with me like a dread champion; therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.”

Both Jeremiah and David went through opposition. By circumstance alone, it seems like there was no hope in their suffering and that God didn’t hear their cries. However, both of them by faith proclaimed that God hears them and is their victor and champion. Their spirits were renewed by proclaiming truth to themselves before they actually tasted victory. This evening, reflect on a battle you are facing (spiritual, relational, vocational, physical, emotional) and ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to proclaim God as your victor and champion over your situation.

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