I’ve been feeling drawn to Jeremiah here lately. Our Pastor preached from the book on Sunday, and it stirred something within me. It is probably no coincidence, then, that I pulled an older blog from Jeremiah yesterday. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11. it is a verse of hope that God has spoken through Jeremiah to the captives in Babylon, but it resonates in life in every season even today, and I don’t believe that God is upset that we read that passage of scripture and find life within it today.
This morning, something has been gnawing at me. I know chapter 29 pretty well. Jeremiah begins by telling the captives that instead of looking forward to the time of their release, they need to prosper in captivity, which sounds like the craziest thing ever, but the idea behind it was that they were going to be in Babylon for 70 years. Some people would never make it out into freedom again. They needed to teach their people how to establish a life there that not only blessed them but Babylon. And then God tells the, about the future that He has in store for them. But first, they had to accept that the season that they were in was the season that they were in.
How true is that for us? I remember watching TBN and the Church Channel and all of those other “Christian” networks and hearing them say things like:
“Speak to your bad season and it will go away.”
“If it’s not happening, your faith isn’t in the right place.”
“Declare a change in your circumstances, and God will pull you out of it according to your faith.”
Now, while some of that is rooted in truth. the that always bugged me was this
“What if I just am where I am? And also, what if God wants to use where I am to take me where I’m going?”
And this is what we see with the Israelites. They had been so rebellious, both Israel and Judah (because they had been split just as God had promised Solomon), that now you had the exile prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel telling them that it was time to pay the piper. Exile was coming to them. And in fact, Babylon raided them 3 times, each time taking more and more people and possessions from the temple.
But let me go back to Jeremiah 27, the prophet had to deal with TBN and Church Channel personalities who were filling the people’s heads with “words from the Lord” that things were going to turn around for them immediately.
“Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of Jehovah’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon’; for they prophesy a lie to you.” Jeremiah 27:6
But wait…there’s more!
In chapter 28, Jeremiah even confronted a “prophet” by the name of Hananiah, who had the gall to still prophesy that God would deliver them our of captivity within 2 years. In the end, by verse 16 of chapter 28, God pronounced judgment over Hananiah in which he died later in that year.
Here is the problem, many times, we have to realize that we just are where we are. Seasons are seasons for a reason. They set in and they stay. Just because we have 90- degree weather in December does not mean that the season is not winter. That season is established and is not moved until the time comes for it to shift. The Israelites had to endure a season of 70 years of captivity because God had decreed it over them, but He also decreed a time of renewal and restoration, which Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther saw come about.
In our lives, wasting our energy speaking against seasons of our lives, we should take what Jeremiah tells the Israelites in chapter 29 to heart. We should plant crops and build houses. We should learn new skills and trades. Just because the season many not be desirable overall does not mean that God can not still bless us within those hard times. To the contrary, it is our hard seasons, our seasons of captivity, our desert seasons where God will do what is required for us to become who He intends for us to become. Is it possible that God loves us too much to allow us to NOT endure painful seasons?
Yes. Most definitely.
We can’t allow people to speak into our lives in a way that will disrupt what God wants to do in us, and we have to be careful that we aren’t being a Hananiah and speaking into someone else’s life words that are contrary to what God’s will is for them. Instead of declaring the end or beginning of a season, instead declare that in every season we will be blessed, that God’s favor will be on us, and that He will see us through to the next phase of life. And most importantly, we MUST declare that God Is STILL GOD in every season!!!
I want to bless you today, and just declare that no matter what season you are in right now, God is in control. He knows the exact date that you will exit your hard seasons, and what date you will enter hard seasons, but within those moments, take heart and praise God just the same. He loves you too much to allow your life to miss the good things that He has for you. he loves you too much to pull you out of a hard season before you are ready. He has plans for you that include the lessons that youy learn in your seasons. So find rest in Him. He is in control.
And with that,
Be blessed today!