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Jan 27 2013

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Experiencing Mercy in the Midst of Testings

by Karen S. Roberts

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Jeremiah wrote Lamentations because he was suffering at the hands of many who did not want to accept his words from the Lord.  The political and religious leaders refused to believe that his words of warning for the nation of Judah were from God.  And they refused to acknowledge that their sin and idolatry was the reason for God’s judgment.

Jeremiah suffered intensely.  He was whipped, thrown in a dungeon. mocked, called a liar, and thrown into a deep muddy pit.  He was accused of conspiring with the nation’s attackers, the Babylonians, as well. An angry mob almost killed him.

When he had Baruch, a scribe, write down the revelations that God had given him and share it with the king, the king took a knife and cut up the scroll, throwing the pieces into a fire.

God gave him the words all over again, and Baruch rewrote them.  Through Jeremiah, God was calling the people of Judah to repent and to come back to Him.  They would not.  This caused Jeremiah to weep over Jerusalem, much like Jesus did many years later.

In the middle of all this suffering, Jeremiah also experienced the love and compassion of the Lord.  He was able to hang in there, even through times of depression and terrible physical suffering.  He knew God, and God gave him the strength to live through all of this and to continue to speak His word without backing down.

Jeremiah experienced what he wrote in the words above.  He was not consumed by his suffering.  God’s compassion did not fail.  He was shown God’s mercy often.  He was delivered from the dungeon and taken out of the deep pit.  He was given ongoing revelation from the Lord.  I’m sure that he often sensed God’s presence when he reached out to Him in prayer.

God gave Jeremiah many words of hope and comfort for his people, in spite of the judgment that they were bringing upon themselves.  He has words of hope and comfort for us as well –  if we will turn to Him instead of away from Him during our times of trouble and testing.

Jeremiah’s faith was tested. Yet he was able to write in Lamentations, “Great is Thy faithfulness!”  When we reach out in faith during the hard times, we will experience the faithfulness of God.

I have put together a book that summarizes the testings, trials, and grief that Jeremiah experienced.  It contains many nature photos with encouraging words from the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  If you are struggling with grief or difficulties, this book will encourage you. So take a look at Living Through Grief With Spirituality: With Pictured Words of Comfort from Jeremiah the Prophet.

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