Read Jeremiah 15:15-18
O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach. Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?
· How can Scripture quench my spiritual thirst?
· Do I turn to the Bible even when I am discouraged and frustrated?
· Do I have faith that God is good, even when my circumstances aren't?
Jeremiah didn't have an easy time of it. For 52 chapters we listen to him prophesize the same message over and over, a message that continued to fall on deaf ears. He urged his people to repent, to rid themselves of idols and false gods, and turn back to the one true God again and again--yet they never listened. Worse, they mocked him and imprisoned him, and still God asked Jeremiah to continue to prophesize the same message. No wonder he felt discouraged and frustrated; no wonder he doubted God's intentions and fell into despair. Yet through all his hardships, Jeremiah continued to return to God and His Word for comfort and sustenance. Despite everything, God's words still brought him joy and delight.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in a spiritually dark place, we are tempted, like Jeremiah, to cry out to God in frustration and despair. That's okay. God values every kind of communication, even our cries of anger and hopelessness. After all, a cry of frustration to God is better than no communication at all. When we find ourselves mired in this kind of despair, it's helpful to return to a favorite passage in the Bible, to remind ourselves of His goodness and love. Keep these special verses top of mind, so that you can return to them in a time of need to find His peace and joy again. Or try memorizing a couple of key verses that you can repeat to yourself as a mantra of hope when you need it.
Lord, help me hear Your message of unwavering love and mercy as I read Your Word. Amen.