A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville with some friends to be in the audience of a bible study video shoot. The author of the bible study, Melissa Spoelstra, wrote a beautiful and challenging study on the book of Jeremiah, titled "Daring To Hope In An Unstable World".
The passage of Jeremiah 17:5-8 that Melissa references in "Daring To Hope" really resonates with me. The main theme of the passage is that God promises to take care of us in the midst of trials, if we let Him.
The beginning portion of the passage states that I am cursed if I trust in humans to supply my strength. Strength for what? Perseverance through life.
5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.
Like I mentioned in my last post, life is tough. Some seasons are worse than others, but nonetheless disaster will come at some point. When they come, I have two options. I can either seek this world to sustain me, OR I can seek The Lord to do that.
We don’t have to wonder what will happen if we make our friends, families, or environment our safe place. We will be isolated, bitter, and hopeless.
If I rely on the world to be my strength, I am like a stunted shrub in the lonely and salty wilderness. So I’ll be alone and without resources. That sounds promising.
The world is not eternal. So putting your trust in something that is going to fade is foolish. We need to put our everlasting trust in something that is eternal...God!
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Contrary to being cursed by putting my trust in this world, I am blessed if I put that trust in The Lord. Then, I am like a tree planted along a riverbank whose roots have grown deep into the water. If I am this type of plant, I will not be disturbed by disastrous seasons because my roots have been formed deep in The Lord.
Weeping Willows flourish particularly well near bodies of water. They need the water’s nourishment in order to prosper and their roots grow deep into the ground. Interestingly, these trees are not altered by heat or seasons of drought. Their roots grow as deep as they need to so that they reach the water. Similarly, I need to plant myself near God and His word in order to mature in my faith and be carried through trials.
The Hebrew word for trust in Jeremiah 17 is, batach, which means security, safe place, and rely on.
If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, the Scripture has said,
Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
What are you making your safe place? Do you find yourself planted near God and His word today?
See You In The Round!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."