THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
FIRE BURNING IN OUR HEART
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9
prophet Jeremiah went into interior crisis as he did his prophetic
work. He complains, “All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.” (Jer 20:7c). He laments, “The
word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all
the day.” (Jer 20:8b).
we the same way at times? Do we complain that God does not
seem to be treating us right, given that we are serving Him?
Do we complain about being derided and mocked by the very
persons we are trying to serve?
we must realize that this comes with the territory. We are
after all doing our work in a darkened world, where evil abounds.
Many have fallen under the dominion of the enemy, and they
will resist the light and the words of life that we bring.
then, do we give up? Do we say to ourselves, “I will
not mention him, I will speak in his name no more.”
(Jer 20:9a)? Do we give up our prophetic ministry, to speak
the name of Jesus to a disbelieving world? Do we take the
easy way out?
can we? Is not the name of Jesus and the work of Jesus “like
fire burning in (our) heart, imprisoned in (our) bones”
(Jer 20:9b)? Having experienced the love of God, having been
fired up by the Holy Spirit, can we opt to be anything else
but the servants of Jesus who will do the work of evangelization,
proclaiming him and his salvation to the whole world? If we
do not give it out, we will just “grow weary holding
it in” (Jer 20:9c)! How can we resist the impetus of
the Spirit? How can we ignore the great privilege of standing
in Jesus’ place as we continue with his work? We cannot!
We “cannot endure it.” (Jer 20:9d).
When Jesus first called us, it was just such a blessing. We
experienced the wonders of starting to live in him. Prayers
were answered. Consolation was given. But then, as we grew
in our faith and experienced deeper transformation, the challenges
came. Pain and affliction. Oppression and persecution. Seemingly
unanswered prayers. The dark night of the soul. Like Jeremiah,
we might have cried out, “You duped me, O Lord, and
I let myself be duped” (Jer 20:7a).
God does not dupe anyone. He treats us according to our condition.
First as babies in Christ we are fed milk; then we are fed
solid food. First we are given lots of consolation through
answered prayers and bountiful blessings; then we are allowed
to experience pain and suffering to deepen our faith. God
always knows what is best. And because He loves us, He wants
us to enter more deeply into a life in Him. He wants us to
grow in holiness by purifying us like gold through the fire.
He wants us to endure and persevere in our work of evangelization,
making us more totally dependent upon Him as we face derision
and oppression. He strengthens us through the discipline of
At the end of the day, we realize that God is not there for
us to use or manipulate, to just call upon for the things
that we want. We are not the master; God is. We do not live
our life in Christ according to our human mind with its likes
and dislikes, but according to the inscrutable mind and heart
of God. There is work to be done, and we are the ones privileged
to do it.
praise God that He is who He is, and we are who we are. We
must not have it any other way. In the end, we need to simply
be able to say, “you were too strong for me, and you
triumphed.” (Jer 20:7b). Then we must resolve to be
about the Father’s business, and do our work of evangelization
and mission. We preach Christ and his salvation. We boldly
go forth, averring, “Whenever I speak, I must cry out”
God have His way with us. May God triumph over our sinfulness
and selfishness, over our fleshly ways of thinking. May His
victory always shine forth in our lives.
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