Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Jesus Christ who sanctifies

Jeremiah 33: 6-11
Vs.11: "For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the LORD”.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “It’s too good to be true.” Collins dictionary elaborates that we may be suspicious of it because it seems better than we had expected, and we think there may be something wrong with it that we have not noticed.

Let’s look at what the Word of God tells us in Jeremiah chapter 33 verses 6 to 11. In the verses around this passage, we see that Jeremiah was imprisoned and God gives him guidance through prayer. The first five verses of the chapter are all about judgment and then the following verses paint a picture of restoration and joy.

I like to put myself in the shoes of the people in Biblical times as I try to understand their situations and responses to those situations. The kind of destruction they have witnessed is unthinkable. But then again, did we not too see Life’s unimaginable turns in the past few years? 

During COVID times our Metropolitan had written a book. The book is called, Church and the new normal. We have heard and experienced a lot of new words entered the vocabulary such as being quarantined, social distancing, masks, frequent sanitization, etc. Did we all perceive such troubled times?

I would like to use this time to look at how Jeremiah used his time of isolation. A time of Quarantine or Isolation is a :
Time to experience God’s presence
Verse 3 shows us that God invites us to call on Him. Usually, in times of isolation, loneliness, and downfall, we tend to cultivate negative thoughts. This portion reminds me of when Hagar met God in the wilderness through the glory of a miraculous well. Hagar, a non-Israelite, woman with no power or status, is the first person in Scripture to be visited by an angel and the only person in Scripture to give God a name—El Roi, “the God who sees me.” Amid her pain and struggle, Hagar receives God’s blessing and promises. We have a God who sees us. He wants his people to repent. He expects us to understand our errs and therefore accept the judgment. And with this understanding, He asks us to enter a renewed relationship with Him. Are we able to experience God’s presence in troubled times and times of isolation?

It is a Time to Receive
Verses 6 through 8, show that God awaits us to receive healing, good health, peace, security, freedom, cleansing, and forgiveness. Our Lord is the Provider, have we opened our hearts to receive freely? Or do we continue to keep our hearts and thoughts clouded with the pain and burden of the past? Do we dwell in the suffocating limits of our confinement or isolation? Can we liberate ourselves by just receiving from God?

It is a Time to Transform 
Verse 9 teaches us that in troubled times, we can bring Joy, Praise & Honor to our Lord by witnessing to all nations placing them in wonder. Our reactions to troubled times should guide others who are stuck at crossroads toward Christ. Are we able to transform and smile during a storm? Are we able to Be Still so God may do His Marvelous works through us? 

It is a Time to Find New Perspectives
Verses 10 & 11 show how desolation is reformed into restoration. The transformation within us will invoke joy and peace in abundance. Are we able to see life ahead with all its upcoming turmoil in a different light? Are we able to look into the eyes of Goliath and say, “Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever.”

When waiting at a crossroads or going through troubled times, can we use that time, just as Jeremiah, to experience God’s presence, to Receive, Transform, and to find New Perspectives in the restoration, peace and joy in His Promises? 

Maybe next time when the world sees otherwise, when it sounds too good to be True, then declare it probably is, because we’re in a relationship with our Forever Enduring Loving Father!

Loving Father, We praise You; We adore You; We Glorify You.
We place into Your hands all the work we do. Help us to dwell on Your goodness. We know You have good plans and purposes for our lives. We invite you into our hearts. Help us to stand firm on your foundation. Many are our plans, but it is You who establishes them. Father provide us the wisdom, courage, and discernment; so that our every action may exalt Your Wondrous Ways, our every reaction may Glorify Your Holy Name and even in our silences and stillness we testify Your Greatness. Amen.

Thought for the Day
I leave you all with a quote by Dwight L. Moody, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”
Mrs. Reena Joseph-Adarsh (Nisha)
Mar Thoma Congregation, Minneapolis, MN

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