God, We NEED to Talk! A sermon on Jeremiah 20:7-13
God, We need to Talk!
† In Jesus Name †
Our prayer for you is that you grow in your experience and knowledge of the grace and mercy of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to where you can trust Him and be completely honest with God! AMEN!
God, We have to Talk!
The Old Testament passage this morning one that describes a prophet of incredible faith, one who knows His God.
He is also very frustrated, and perhaps even a bit paranoid. Definitely, Jeremiah is a bit tired and weary, and part of this is that people don’t always hear everything he has said, and their criticism and threats he takes personally.
He doesn’t just complain, he doesn’t just whine, he wants to talk to God, and let God have it!
Our English translation uses the word deceived, other translations use misled, tricked, fooled me. What kind of prophet is this, that thinks he can talk to God like that! To accuse God the Father of deceiving him?
He is a man of great faith.
Yes, I said he is man of great faith, and I pray that our faith grows enough to be that open and honest with God. Let me explain.
Can We Be honest with God? (Can we whine/complain to Him?)
Can we be honest with God? Can we accuse Him of deceiving us or misleading us? Can questioning God, even challenging Him, be an act of faith?
For Jeremiah this wasn’t about God promising him a nice house, a new car and a easy good paying job. This was about ministry and care, about Jeremiah trying to shepherd God’s people back to him. God called him to this work, much like God calls Timothy and myself to be pastors and prepare to ministry. Just as God calls people to serve as church musicians, or on boards and teams, even as God calls us all to be involved in making disciples of people from every ethnicity, every culture, every language.
This work God has given His people isn’t easy, and there are times where the people God would have us minister to are challenging. There are times people who don’t know about God think what they know is the truth, and don’t listen to all the story. For while we are here to tell them about God’s love, they also must know that His love cannot leave them broken in sin. They often don’t like to hear that, and neither do we.
Jeremiah was trying to do that, and they wouldn’t listen long enough to hear about God’s mercy, and God’s desire to cleanse them of their sin and heal them of their brokenness. They only heard that they needed to repent and be forgiven.
They didn’t like that, and they attacked and threatened Jeremiah over his life time many times.
So Jeremiah says, “Hey God, we need to talk, I thought serving you would be easier. You didn’t tell me about the rejection, the pain of watching people continue to struggle in their brokenness. You didn’t tell me when I went to them they would attack, yet you still want me to do this? You still want me to reach out to people – to call them back to you, Lord?”
Jeremiah will go on to try and quit, to say he will never talk about God in verse 9, even that he will try to forget about God. He is that tired, that frustrated, that burnt out from caring and trying to call people back into their relationship with God. To call unbelievers to the cross, to call believers back there.
But Jeremiah can’t do that, he can’t keep the message of God inside himself, it is too powerful, to incredible, to glorious. His people need to know God’s love and that God will stand by them, and stand by us during our struggle.
God stands by us?
We start to see that in verse 11, “11 But you, LORD, are on my side, strong and mighty”. Jeremiah 20:11 (TEV)
and again in verse 13, ” 13 Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people. Jeremiah 20:13 (TEV)
When we are honest with God, when we don’t hide our hurts, we see Him at work. Then our faith, our trust grows stronger in Him, we become more aware of His presence, His guiding us, His listening to our prayers, and yes, even our complaints and our whining. He’s willing to remind us He is here, and this is His work. The Holy Spirit guides us all to Jesus, who died and rose so that our sins would be forgiven, that we could be God’s children. That we could know He has rescued us, and stands with us.
Jeremiah’s message resonates with the future, and the hope that the people of God have, a hope we know, when at the end of the day we remember He cleanses us from sin, He rescues us, and He stands by our side. For He loves us, and is patient with us, not wanting any to perish, but that all of us come to repentance. Even when we are tired, even when they are stubborn. God is still at work.
Standing by us, strengthening our faith, our awareness of Him. Even as we serve and minister to each other and the world. Even when we struggle doing it.
Knowing this, we realize we dwell in His peace, peace the world cannot understand, but the peace in which we are guarded in Christ Jesus. AMEN!