“Therefore, thus says the LORD, ‘If you return, then I will restore you – before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them.’” Jeremiah 15:19
When I first studied this passage – and even since then – I have struggled with God’s response to Jeremiah’s doubt and despair. In the previous verses, his prophet poured out his heart to God, asking if God was really with him, if he cared, if was going to act. And God’s answer is almost brusque: “Get your relationship with me right, do your job, and stand up.”
Not exactly comforting. But sometimes, the fact is that we don’t need comfort. We need a kick in the pants. Doubt can mire us down – as it evidently was doing for Jeremiah. Plus, he had apparently let his doubts draw him away from God. On all fronts, he was stuck.
God knew that this was a time for tough love, so he pointed out the problem, and commanded his prophet to get his act together and do his job. Likewise, we sometimes need this tough love. It’s as if God is saying to us, “Yes, you’re doubting. Yes, things are hard. Here’s my answer: get back on your knees and start praying, then stand up and do your job, doubts or no doubts. It’s time to get your priorities straight.”
No pity parties allowed. Stand up, and move forward.
How do you tend to respond when someone rebukes or reproves you? Why?
What happens to your faith if you focus on your doubts?
What do you need to do right now to move forward despite your doubts?