January 20th – Coping With Being Despised



I have always empathised with that great and godly saint of God, the prophet Jeremiah. I have never read him without being moved, and I am so thankful to God for opening to me the historical background which illumines all his words. I especially thank him for his patent humanity, his mood swings with their depths and heights. Like an ordinary seaman looks to Lord Nelson – as a mole hill looks to a mountain – I look to Jeremiah and admire! He bares his soul when praying in the stocks-pouring out his feelings; humiliated, hurt, used, and all for speaking the word God had given him to say, then his praising God, then his cursing the day he was born. Vowing he would from then on keep his mouth shut, and never preach again – it was all too painful, the rejection and ridicule of the entire nation. Then the moment he was set free, speaking with great authority with God’s fire still burning in his aching bones. Well, I had a wretched couple of days. Two people in a tiny church I was trying to help forward took exception, chiefly to two words I had used, and not understanding me, nor the use of words, took action. They resigned their membership and the office which one of them held. Thus in one single hour, completely broke off all relationships with their church: talk about a sledge hammer to crack a nut. It was like dropping a nuclear bomb on a city, because its buses ran late. The action was too drastic and sudden and punishing. I was hurt. So in one of many tiny ways I identify with Jeremiah. He had so little encouragement in all his suffering and persecution, and was so dedicated to his calling that in his private moments felt so insecure and was open to the temptation of self pity, but, in his case, not for long.
Today if you feel hurt and wounded, misunderstood and rejected, then identify with one greater than Jeremiah who truly was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who bore our sins in Himself on the cross. This is Jeremiah 20:1-2, 7-9
O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name”, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
A Prayer: Whatever my condition Lord, this day, deliver me from self-pity and play- acting, from moaning and groaning – for Jesus sake.
Now read Philippians Chapter 3

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