With all the blessing and prosperity we have, with it comes a struggle at times. Jeremiah faced it. He’s known as the weeping prophet. People didn’t want to hear the Word of God. They made it hard on Jeremiah. I don’t think he won anyone over in his day, but his writings have won many to the Lord.
Jeremiah 20: 7 O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.12 But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.
Notice how his spirit changes from verse 7 to 13. Weeping may endure (for a verse) but joy comes (in another verse). Joy comes if we hang in there. The wicked demanded a report. They meant to find fault. Jeremiah said if they wanted a report he’d give them one. We have to give a report, so we might as well give a good one.
Jeremiah’s reports were not pleasing to the people who were out of God’s will. People need the truth whether it brings joy or is on the tough side of telling us about separation from sin and consecration and determination to serve the Lord. Being a disciple and follower of God is not meant to be a reproach, but the world and the devil will make it that way. In verse 7 Jeremiah is down having a time because of his faithfulness to the Lord. Regardless of how it appears, Jeremiah was blessed. The devil whispers in our ear that God is making it hard. If you live for the Lord, you’ll be put down. The Bible says that a friend of the world is an enemy of God. If there is never conflict with the world, I’d check myself to see if I am really being faithful to the Lord.
Even Jeremiah’s friends put him down. He asked if he had made a mistake in following the Lord. Life had taken a hard turn. The devil will make it really easy when a person lives in sin because he doesn’t want anyone to feel the hardship of it. His desire is to take people to hell. Immediately my friends turned on me when I told them I got saved. They tried to find fault. Jeremiah’s friends wanted a report as a way to find fault or get him to lose his temper. People are slow to report good news but all too eager to spread gossip.
Jeremiah decided not to say a thing, but it got like a fire in his bones. It was like stoking a coal stove. God turned up the thermostat in his heart. He wants to turn it up in our hearts. I want to be on fire for God. What about you? It will be hot one way or another. I want to please God with my report instead of pleasing the world. It was because of the faithfulness of Christians that many of us found the Lord. We need to toughen up and take what’s coming. Will you get tough for Jesus? Jeremiah started praying. We see in verse 13 that he began to sing praises to God who had delivered him out of the hand of evildoers.
Our job is not to save; that’s God’s job. Our job is to witness—to report. What kind of report can you give? Ask the Lord to show you, to help you give a good report.