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Devotions by Ray Stedman -God’s Faithfulness – A daily devotion for August 17

Topic:God’s Faithfulness
READ THE SCRIPTURE: JEREMIAH 20:11-18

But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten. Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
Jeremiah 20:11-12

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Previously in this chapter, Jeremiah poured out his complaint to the Lord while he was in the stocks. But now faith comes to Jeremiah’s rescue and begins to strengthen him. Faith counterattacks to uphold the tottering prophet. Jeremiah is now fighting back against the assault he is victim of. He begins now to reckon on reality, to count as truth what God had made known to him. That is the way to handle any frightening situation. You can be almost sure that the way you see it is not really the way it is. This is what you have to remember. It appears to be that way, but it is not that way. Your mind is being assaulted, your thoughts twisted and distorted by a naturalistic view of things. The only answer is to begin with God, the unchangeable One, the One who sees things the way they really are. Start with him and with what he has told you, and work from that back to your situation, and you will see it in an entirely different light.

This is what the prophet does here. He starts with God. The Lord is with me [that is the first thing to remember], and he is a mighty warrior [he knows how to fight, how to repel assaults]; therefore my persecutors will stumble [their plans are not going to work out], they will not overcome me. In fact, they will be greatly ashamed, for they will not succeed. Faith reassures him that this is what will happen. And this is the correct view, because this is what happened. And so he cries out, Verse 13: Sing to the Lord; give praise the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked (Jeremiah 20:13)

That sounds like the account of the incident in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas, thrown into the dungeon and thrust into stocks at Philippi, began at midnight to sing praises to God, because their faith was fastened onto God and his greatness, and not upon their circumstances. This is what Jeremiah learned to do — to sing praises to the Lord.

What allowed him to do this? Perhaps Jeremiah remembered what God had said to Jeremiah in Chapter 1: I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled, (Jeremiah 1:12). So even though it may take a while, even though things do not go right at first, do not be shortsighted and blame God, for he will watch over his word to perform it.

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A verse in Paul’s letter to Timothy gathers this up for us beautifully. Paul wrote to Timothy, in an hour of great turbulence, and said, If we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot disown himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

Thank you, heavenly Father, for this reminder of your faithfulness to the prophet Jeremiah, and your faithfulness to your promises today.

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