Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
Suffering (Part 27)
My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
'Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?'
'Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?'
'Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved.'
For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
Jeremiah 8:18-20 (NASB)
Woe is me, because of my injury!
My wound is incurable.
But I said, 'Truly this is a sickness,
And I must bear it.'
My tent is destroyed,
And all my ropes are broken;
My sons have gone from me and are no more.
There is no one to stretch out my tent again
Or to set up my curtains.
Jeremiah 10:19-20 (NASB)
Bereavement is intense grief from hard loss. I haven't lost loved ones in such a way, nor all of the things I take for granted, to feel such overwhelming sorrow... yet. Who knows if I will, or maybe you have. Either way, we need to understand grief.
Jeremiah, called the weeping prophet, knew pain most Americans have not felt. As a youth, God commissioned him to speak, but his countrymen hated what he said. The root of their hatred? Idolatry. His kin stubbornly worshipped worthless things. So God removed His protection from them, and Israel was terribly destroyed. Jeremiah's bereavement was profound.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What should you know about bereavement?
1) Our Captain suffers with us. 'Jesus wept' (John 11:35). 'So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them' (Isaiah 63:8-9).
2) Joy really does come in the morning. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away' (Revelation 21:4): 'To comfort all who mourn... To give them beauty for ashes' (Isaiah 61:2-3).
3) Sometimes bereavement is necessary. 'It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your Decrees' (Psalm 119:71). 'I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me... The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit' (Psalm 34:4,18).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you have suffered from bereavement, I pray you have felt God's uplifting. No matter how many times you fall, your Father intends to pick you up. Now be His Hands and Feet of mercy to uplift others who most need Him.
To Be Continued...
* Excellent short article: What should we learn from the life of Jeremiah? https://gotquestions.org/life-Jeremiah.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.