Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts.
I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers,
Nor did I exult.
Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone,
For You filled me with indignation.
Jeremiah was ostracized for the words God gave Him. Obedience meant isolation, rejection, and persecution. This led to feelings of sadness and indignation. Yet, Jeremiah was miraculously also able to claim God’s words as “a joy and the delight” of his heart. How was that possible? How were both of those realities true for him?
Jeremiah’s prayer in this chapter reads like a psalm of lament. He was angry, weary, and wounded because of his obedience to God. He wasn’t skirting past this reality or sugarcoating it. The words that had once delighted his heart were now the very cause of his pain and doubts. He cried out to God to see him and remember him in the midst of his suffering (15:15). He wanted God to remember His promises and remember to be true to His Word. Jeremiah’s response and wrestling with God is indicative of someone in the trenches—someone suffering greatly—making it easy to miss the bigger picture of what God was doing.
Though we may never find ourselves in Jeremiah’s circumstances, we might find ourselves lashing out in the same way. As we are going through life, trying to walk in obedience to God’s Word and His calling for our lives, there will inevitably be times when we feel as though God has forgotten us. There will be seasons of struggle and suffering that will leave us wondering if God put us on a path only to abandon us. We will need God’s reminder of faithfulness just as Jeremiah did. We will desperately need Him to be the lifter of our heads if we are to keep walking in faith. The Lord could handle all of Jeremiah’s emotions, and He can handle ours. As we continue to walk and be faithful to the gospel message, there is space for the wrestling that will inevitably come. There will be doubts, fears, and frustrations in the process. Still, we must follow in Jeremiah’s footsteps to continue speaking God’s Word to the world around us.
• How do you need to be reminded that God’s Word is a joy and delight? How do you need to internalize it anew in this season?
• Are there places in your walk with the Lord that you feel frustrated or forgotten? How might God’s Word point you back to your purpose in the midst of these moments?
• Take some time to acknowledge your feelings and frustrations to the Lord. He already knows them, so put them out in the open. Ask Him to remind you of His presence, His calling, and His provision even when you experience doubts.