“Surviving the Storms of Life” Jeremiah 29:1-14
In Jeremiah 29, God has given to each of us a paradigm to follow when the “Storms of Life” assail. So, let me encourage you with these words of guidance and comfort as we face the “Storm of Covid-19.”
Face Reality - v. 4 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:” Jeremiah told them to face the reality of their lives."
So too, must we face the reality of the “Covid-19 Virus” and that our lives not only have been disrupted but put on hold for an indefinite period of time. So, you must now face the reality of your situation with courage and faith knowing that God has not forgotten you but is not at work in your life, molding and shaping you as you face this “New Normal.”
Don’t Give Up, - v. 5a “Build houses and settle down;”
In other words try to maintain a normal routine in your life. During distressing times, we especially need to pay close attention to what God says in His Word. Without that guidance, we might be lulled into thinking that it’s no use, that nothing matters, that it’s all over. Never forget in the dark what God has told you in the light. “I AM with You!”
Plan for The Future, - v. 5b-6 “Plant gardens and eat what they produce.”
Yes, we will eventually defeat this virus and life will once again turn to normal. It may be difficult to visualize what tomorrow will be like, much less plans for tomorrow but be assured God has a plan for your life and our country. God is not finished with us yet.
Make A Positive Contribution, - v. 7 “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city.”
In this time of “Social Isolation” you may be physically apart, but you can still be connected to family and friends. The Hebrew for peace is “Shalom” which most of us recognize. God seems to be saying, “You’re going to be there for a while so get about the business of loving one another. Think of creative ways to impact the lives of others… write a letter, make a call, text, Facebook, tweet or just talk to your neighbor over the backyard fence. After all, he or she is going through the same experience you are.
Be Discerning, - vv. 8-9 “Do not be deceived. There will always be those who will tell you what you want to hear.”
There are always false prophets… In time of anxiety and uncertain always look for the truth and then measure that truth by the Word of God.
Remember God’s Promises, - vv. 10-11 “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.”
The word translated plans is used in Exodus 31:2-4 and means an artistic design, one which had been carefully designed and would be exquisitely beautiful for them.
Like the composer of an eternal symphony, our loving God has arranged the various parts of our lives to provide the most beautiful harmony possible. It is not just a half-hearted, last-minute idea. Sometimes we only hear one part or one instrument playing in our lives, but one day we will hear the entire orchestra, sounding out the original melody God had in mind.
Seek God with All Your Heart, - vv. 12-13 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
In these days of uncertainty, where do you find yourself? You could seek the advice of friends and family or do you look to God.
Heed this promise of God… “You will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart!” These might be overwhelming days of anxiety and uncertainty but be assure if you seek God with all you heart, you will find Him along with His Grace, Comfort, Love and Guidance.
In the words of Corrie Ten Boom “Never be afraid to trust an UNKNOWN FUTURE to A Known God.”