But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV
Sheila Walsh, Christian author and worship leader, said that when she learned to trust the Lord, she felt she was finally able to “exhale.” Can you relate to that? When we don’t trust the Lord in any given difficulty, the entire burden is on us. We’re tense, and our lungs are tight. But when we roll our burden onto the Lord’s shoulders, we are finally able to exhale.
A life of faith is one of breathing deeply, being filled with the Holy Spirit’s oxygen, and learning to relax and smile. The word blessed means, among other things, “happy.” The Hebrew and Greek terms go far beyond mere human happiness, but a joyful spirit is certainly part of what that wonderful word means.
Jeremiah, who wasn’t known for having a naturally happy personality, learned the joy of trusting, and he said, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
Now take a deep breath and think about that.
Whether Jesus calms the storm or calms us in the storm, His love is the same, and His grace is enough. Sheila Walsh
The God Who Knows All, Jeremiah 17:9-10 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:9
“Are people still praying for me?”
That was one of the first questions a missionary asked his wife whenever she was allowed to visit him in prison. He had been falsely accused and incarcerated for his faith for two years. His life was frequently in danger because of the conditions and hostility in the prison, and believers around the world were earnestly praying for him. He wanted to be assured they wouldn’t stop, because he believed God was using their prayers in a powerful way.
Our prayers for others—especially those who are persecuted for their faith—are a vital gift. Paul made this clear when he wrote the believers in Corinth about hardships he faced during his missionary journey. He “was under great pressure,” so much that he “despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8). But then he told them God had delivered him and described the tool He’d used to do it: “We have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (vv. 10–11, emphasis added).
God moves through our prayers to accomplish great good in the lives of His people. One of the best ways to love others is to pray for them, because through our prayers we open the door to the help only God can provide. When we pray for others, we love them in His strength. There’s none greater or more loving than He.
Reflect & Pray
How do you love others with your prayers? In what ways can you encourage prayer for those who are persecuted for their faith?
Loving and Almighty God, thank You for the amazing gift of prayer and the ways You move through it. Please help me to pray faithfully for others today!
For help in your prayer life, read Jesus’ Blueprint for Prayer at DiscoverySeries.org/HJ891
What is the purpose of life? Throughout human history, people have been trying to answer that question. Books have been written on the subject, and philosophers have postulated many answers. But for Christians, God’s purpose is concisely outlined in today’s passage.
Believers are called according to His purpose and are foreknown by Him. God’s foreknowledge is much more than His ability to see future events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass what He has chosen to do for those He has called. He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). This will be fully accomplished in the resurrection, but until then, God is progressively transforming His children right now. These are the ones He calls, justifies (declares righteous), and ultimately glorifies.
If you are a Christian, this is God’s purpose for you. That means everything He allows into your life is designed to shape you into a glorious reflection of Christ. Although you cannot fully understand how God brings about salvation and how believers are responsible to respond in faith, there is great comfort in knowing that He who began this good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).
“Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.” (Psalm 119:17)
Materialism is so prevelant that it is sometimes difficult to not associate words like “bounty” or “blessing” with earthly riches. This psalmist wasn’t concerned with physical prosperity but rather that God would reveal to him what his own heart sought—“that I may live, and keep thy word.”
He requested spiritual insight: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (v. 18). Without hint of greed or self-centered aggrandizement, he only longed to understand the “wondrous” insights of the torah (law). We lack “bounty” if we neglect studying God’s inerrant Word.
We often forget that we are “stranger[s] in the earth” (v. 19). Once adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5), our citizenship (Philippians 3:20) is transferred from this earth to God’s “city” (Hebrews 11:10). Thus, the psalmist begged for God not to “hide” the commandments from him because his “soul breaketh for the longing” (v. 20) he had, in every season, for the judgments of God’s Word.
He remembered God’s swift justice against the “cursed” (v. 21) who “err” (wander, stray) from the Word, since the “princes” (chiefs, leaders) of the land resisted his effort to obey God (v. 23). Nontheless, he was determined to demonstrate his “delight” in the “counselors” within God’s testimonies (v. 24).
Many who claim to be evangelicals today boldly scorn those who trust that “every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5). May God keep us from “the fear of man” (Proverbs 29:25) and embolden our resolve to “worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). HMM III