Trust and the Unfinished Story
Bible Text: Jeremiah 33:11 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living
Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever. Jeremiah 33:11
If you could see the hand of God in the troubles which confront you, how different would be your response to what is happening in our world today. Do you agree? Or are you so overwhelmed by what is happening to you personally, that you see no pattern, no evidence of the caring hand of God in your life?
When things look difficult, and the sky seems dark with storm clouds, there are times when you have to look beyond and hold onto what you know is true, regardless of your emotions and feelings.
Tough times pass, but tough people–those who are focused on what God says about our lives–endure. Such a man was Jeremiah, one of the prophets of God–who lived during one of the most chaotic periods of world history ever recorded. In our generation we have seen the rise of nuclear terror. We have seen genocide, unparalled numbers of people forced from their homes and homelands, fleeing violence. We have watched evil rise and grip our globe in fear.
These events were the kinds of things which confronted Jeremiah; however, he added to these cataclysmic events something personal, something which brought the conflict to his doorstep. The very nation which he loved, his own country, was about to be overthrown by Babylon, a ruthless, cruel enemy. Jeremiah had to announce this, a message which was denounced as “unpatriotic and traitorous.”
Jeremiah looked beyond the clouds and heard the voice of God just as you must when your world is collapsing. Yes, God said Israel would go into captivity for 70 years. But then God promised restoration. He promised, “‘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'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Looking beyond the immediate difficulties, Jeremiah saw the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom he described as “a righteous Branch…from David’s line” who would “do what is just and right in the land” (Jeremiah 33:15).
So certain was Jeremiah that God would keep His word, he actually bought a piece of property which was in default, took the title deed and buried it in a jar so that when the troubles had passed, he could come back and take title to the property (Read about it in Jeremiah 32).
Friend, if you had the vantage of God in the situations confronting you, would you look differently at things? If you knew something of His plan and power to bring order out of chaos, would you be as worried as you are?
Life may appear as a terrible catastrophe, a sad alignment of difficulties which may make you question whether there even is a God, but the story has not been finished, the song has not yet ended, and God isn’t through with you for a moment.
That’s where trust has to come into the picture. Before you can really trust God in times of difficulty, you need to settle several issues: 1.You need to accept what the Bible says, that God is a good God and that as Jeremiah wrote, He has plans for His own children far beyond what we see or even think. 2. You need to realize that He has no respect of persons. What He has done for individuals whom you read about in the Bible, He will do for you, and 3. You need to take the step of faith whereby you say, “Yes, God, I’ll trust you just for today, so take my hand and walk with me.” Yes, God, just for today.
Resource reading: Jeremiah 33.