Faith Blog

DARK CIRCUMSTANCES, BRIGHT FUTURE

When disaster surrounds you, and the circumstances are dire, is there any hope? Is God still in control? What if the disaster is a result of your own people’s actions? That certainly was the situation in today’s One Year Bible reading in Jeremiah 33–34.

Jeremiah himself was imprisoned on orders of King Zedekiah as a result of communicating God’s message of judgment on the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah knew the immediate outlook was bleak—Judah had been invaded by the kingdom of Babylon and many Israelites had been carried into exile there. The city of Jerusalem would shortly fall to Babylon, and King Zedekiah himself would be taken there.

All this was taking place as part of God’s judgment on the people of Israel and Judah, who had not obeyed God or followed His commands. But God loved them too much to let them continue in their sinful ways, so he placed them under severe discipline. All the while God continued to communicate with His errant children through Jeremiah, assuring them of His love and the bright future that would follow the time of discipline. In verses 7–9 God promised,

"I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it."

The same is true for us. God loves us too much to leave us alone. He’ll take action to bring us back to Him. And all the while, He assures us of His love and the bright future that awaits us if we’re truly His children. We’ll join in the refrain from verse 11:

"Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,

for the Lord is good;

his love endures forever."

Posted by Darrel Eppler with

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER

Psalm 88: 1-2 says, O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before you. Let my prayer come before you; Incline your ear to my cry.

As I read Psalm 88, it reminds me of myself in a low place in time when I was at the bottom. I was struggling with a crumbled marriage, addictions with drugs and alcohol and being a single father with two kids. Things seem to get worse by the day. I knew the truth of God's Word being raised up in church and in a Christian home but spent many years turning my back to it.

Psalm 88:18 says, you have removed lover and friend far from me; my acquaintances are in darkness.

In November of 2004, I literally felt God remove me out of the situation I was in and dropped me here in Dallas to live with my parents, who my children had already been living with for about 6 months. When I arrived I struggled internally with loneliness and being away from friends and going cold turkey on all my addictions. All I had left was prayer and knowing God had a plan and that He was in control. I rededicated my life to Him soon after moving to Dallas. It wasn't until the first Sunday I came to Faith Bible Church I realized just how many people had been praying for me for so many years. People I didn't know, my mother's friends. My mother and her friends witnessed what constant prayer can do in a person's life, their prayer changed my children's and my life.

God has heard my prayer. God has given me a wonderful Christian wife and four beautiful kids. I thank God for answering the prayers of my parents and friends and for the changed life I have today.

Posted by Shaun Mark with

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