Daily Walk With God

My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.

Being Thankful

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 24•14

Psalm 100 (NIV)
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100 is my favorite psalm for giving thanks and praise to God. It serves to remind me that God is my creator and I belong to him. And that alone should cause each of us to give daily praise and thanksgiving to God for his goodness and his love that endures forever. In a world where violence, hatred, disease, and war dominate the daily headlines, it’s important for those of us who believe in God to remember that God is in control of this world. And if you believe in Jesus Christ the Son, you will one day live in a place where there will be no more tears, no more suffering and no more pain. That alone gives me hope and encourages me to thank and praise God daily.

As I was reading Psalm 100 tonight, I was reminded of a saint that left this world for her home in heaven earlier this year. Ms. Gene, who was a member of our church, wanted Psalm 100 to be read at her funeral service. As I read the psalm again tonight, I remembered back to April of this year when I read it at her funeral. She had certainly spent a lifetime giving praise and thanksgiving to her Lord. She knew that the Lord is God – that we are his creation – his people – the sheep of his pasture. Ms. Gene knew that she was not self-made but rather God-made. And she always, and I mean always, gave thanks to God in all circumstances.

I looked back at two cards tonight that Ms. Gene had sent me over the years. The first was to my wife and I after my father-in-law passed away and the second was after the passing of my mother. She wrote about how good parents were a “special blessing and a gift from God” and she wrote that she was “thankful” and “grateful” for her parents. She gave wise counsel as I grieved the death of my mother. Ms. Gene wrote, “Our mothers are very special and kind. We miss them when they are gone, but we have so many good memories to keep in our hearts and to comfort us. Remember that God is always with us.” She knew – as did the psalmist – that God’s love and faithfulness endures throughout all generations. God is present with us in the good times, in the midst of pain and suffering, and in all of the many ordinary moments of life.

I am thankful to have known the many faithful believers that God has placed in my path over the course of my life. Many of them were just ordinary people who served and understood God in extraordinary and even in simple ways. What set them apart was their unwavering faith in God and their recognition of his presence in our daily lives. Thank you God, for these faithful witnesses to your everlasting love and mercy. And please God, send more of them my way. 

Spiritual Warfare And The Church Of The Way

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 11•14

Ephesians 6:10-13(ESV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Ever since I began to write about the type of church that I feel called to establish, I have come under what I can only describe as a relentless attack by the evil one. Satan’s objective is to cause me to doubt God and my calling and to believe that God can’t really do what God promises to do. As a believer, I am at my best when I am in constant communication with God. When I read my Bible, pray, or just talk to God, I am at peace and open to listening for God to speak to my mind and my heart. I sense God more fully in my life when the communication line with God is open and unbroken.

The devil desires to break that communication link and he does it through lies and deception. He wants us to doubt God and His promise to be with us and guide us as believers. The mind is the arena where spiritual warfare is waged and Satan will do anything to turn out thoughts away from God. Satan wants us to doubt God and His good promises for our lives.

This week for me, I have endured many obstacles that have been placed in my path that were designed to take my focus away from God. As I have been overwhelmed with problems that have suddenly surfaced, doubts have begun to set in that I can’t do what God is calling me to do. I don’t believe that however, because I know that God can do whatever He sets his mind and will to accomplish. It’s God’s power that is at work, not my own, and God is more powerful that the evil one. So I cling to my faith and trust in God and when God’s ministry for me is realized, God will receive ALL of the glory!

Today, I read a familiar passage that reminded me in a powerful way that God is with those of us who are faithful and willing to take a bold step of faith. In Joshua, chapter 3, the Israelites are very close to entering the Promised Land, but they must first cross the Jordan River which just so happens to be at flood stage! The people had camped out at the Jordan River for three days and then the officers gave the people their instructions: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it” (Joshua 3:3). Then the LORD told Joshua, “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river’” (Joshua 3:8). After the priests go into and stand in the raging river, God then stops the water upstream from flowing and the priests found themselves standing on dry ground. They remained there until the whole nation of Israel passed by and completed the crossing on dry ground.

God calls us to take a step of faith; to put our feet in the raging waters, so that when the calm comes, we will know without a doubt that God’s power was made evident. Often in life, we are called to take risks or steps of faith in order to follow God’s call upon our lives. When the evil one attacks with spiritual warfare (and he will if you are truly doing God’s work), put on the “whole armor of God” so that you can stand against the many schemes of the devil. Stand firm, knowing that you serve a God who promises to be with those who follow and have faith in Him.

Usually, it takes me about 30 minutes to write a typical devotional post. Today, it took over two hours because of a constant stream of interruptions, problems, crises, and intense spiritual warfare from the evil one. I take comfort in knowing that I am on the right path to serving God because it is obvious to me that Satan is determined on doing whatever he can to make me question my calling from God and to prevent me from establishing a church that gives God all of the glory.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Encouragement for the Week

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 09•14

As you begin a new week, I hope that these words from scripture will prepare and encourage you for whatever circumstances you will encounter. None of us knows what the future holds and often we are afraid of things we can’t control. It is during these times that we must remind ourselves that we serve and worship a God who walks with us and goes before us. God is ready and more than capable of bearing our burdens and worries. Trust in God, let go of your anxiety and believe that God is ready to shower you with His peace that transcends all understanding.

Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 55:22: Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

The Lord prepares a way for us, a path that ascends and descends. Remain on that path and God will be with you through the blessings of the week and also during the difficulties that you will surely face. As believers, we are not promised an easy, problem free life but we do have the assurance that Christ is present with us. He walks alongside us and carries us when the road that we are traveling on is too grueling for our weary souls.

Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Are you tired? It could be your job that is wearing you down. Maybe you have the responsibility to care for family members that are aging or ill. Just being a parent these days is a difficult job and it seems that problems just continue to multiply. You do so many things for others. Often it feels like no one seems to appreciate it and as a result you feel weary and burdened. Turn to the one who has already conquered this world and can take away the weight of the world.

John 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Philippians 4:6-7:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:25-27:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Remember that God the Father and Christ the Savior loves you and wants all things to work out for your own good. Nothing in this world can come between us and the saving grace of Christ our Lord. Remember that Christ has already conquered the world and nothing can separate us from His love.

Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Be blessed this week and know that you are a beloved child of God. May the peace of Christ be with you and your family in the days ahead.

 

The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 06•14

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

As I begin to write about the type of church that I would like to start, these words from Jesus will serve as the core belief for our church. I believe that Jesus is the way – the only way – to God the Father and heaven. I have believed and trusted these words from Jesus for many years. I find that now, I have even more faith in this scripture passage, as I mature in my faith.

My calling is to establish a church where people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity come together to worship God the Father, Christ our Savior and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit who powerfully guides the church. We will be a church that prays constantly for the Holy Spirit to lead and inspire the church. We will be open and accepting of anyone but we will not compromise and give in to the “world” when it comes to preaching the Gospel message. Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life – that truth from Holy Scripture will be a foundational belief for our church.

My children have grown up with friends from many different faith backgrounds. I have always told them to be respectful of the beliefs of others but to never compromise on what we as followers of Christ believe. I don’t believe in attacking another person’s beliefs – that only serves to push them farther away from the truth that is found only through Christ. I have tried to teach my children to live a Christ led life that shows mercy and compassion towards others. When you truly care about people, regardless of their beliefs or circumstance in life, you become a powerful and more effective witness for the risen Christ. This is what the church today is called to do and to be.

These are my beliefs about Jesus Christ:
• Jesus was born of a virgin
• He was fully man and yet fully God
• He lived a sinless life and resisted temptation
• He was crucified and died for our sins
• He was buried in the tomb
• He arose after three days and defeated death once and for all
• Forty days after the Resurrection, He ascended back to God the Father in heaven
• He now sits at the right hand of God in heaven
• He will return to earth again at the Second Coming

The early Christians were often referred to as “the Way” (Acts 9:2 and other times throughout the book of Acts). In looking through a file on my computer yesterday, I found something that I had written down over two years ago. This was something that was impressed upon me during a time of prayer one morning. The title of the file was “The Way Church of Athens.” Now I don’t know where God is calling me to start a church (or even if God is calling me to start a church) but what a fitting name for a group of present day followers of Christ – The Way.

I continue to pray that God will open a door for my ministry and that He will also open up the hearts of people who want to be part of a faith community that shares the belief: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I ask you to pray with me that God will make His vision clear to me and will put me into contact with more people who have the desire to start a community of faith based on Christ as “the Way.” May God bless you and always be with you.

Seeking and Trusting God

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 29•14

My blogs for the remainder of the year are going to be somewhat different to my normal style of writing. God has been actively working in my spiritual life over the last few months, as I have been going through a process of discernment regarding my ministry. Up until now, these thoughts have only been discussed with a few people whom I greatly trust. I had never thought about sharing these on the web through my blog, until today, as I took my daily two mile walk at one of my favorite walking places.

I usually walk with my wife (whom I greatly missed today). This afternoon, however, it was just me and God. As I began my walk, on a glorious, sun splashed afternoon, my thoughts immediately turned to what God is calling me to do in ministry. So many possible ways to minister have been running through my mind lately, but today, I believe that God gave me some clarity on how to proceed. It’s possible that I have completely misunderstood God and I risk looking foolish for discussing what I believe God is calling me to do. Even so, I have decided to take a leap of faith and find out what God has in store for my ministry. Sort of reminds me of Paul’s “fools for Christ” reference from 1 Corinthians 4:10.

Over the last five years, I have applied for pastor positions at different churches and have been the runner-up in several of those instances. I’ll be honest; all of those “rejections” were painful in different ways. It’s never easy being told that you didn’t get the job and I think that I would rather have been told that I finished eighth or ninth instead of second. To seemingly be so close and not get the job…it’s something that doesn’t get any easier. However, I have come to believe that God did not intend for me to land any of those positions. God must have a reason, a plan for me, other than those traditional churches. So over the last five years I have continued to learn how to trust God and persevere in my faith. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I believe the reason that I was not selected to serve at those established churches is because God is calling me to start a new church that draws on the strengths of my own unique ministry. Various ideas about where to meet have been presented to me by others interested in this idea, but as of yet – God – has not provided me with any real answers. So I have decided to take the remainder of this year to write about what God is calling me to do and to listen to God. I will write about the type of church that I envision and I invite anyone interested in this new endeavor to contact me with any suggestions or discernment that you may have. I do not have a timetable or any predetermined plans – I am leaving all of that up to God. As God leads, I will follow.

Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

A Prayer For Rest

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 24•14

Matthew 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Richard J. Foster, in his book, Prayer – Finding The Heart’s True Home, writes: “Through the Prayer of Rest, God places his children in the eye of the storm. When all around us is chaos and confusion, deep within we know stability and serenity. In the midst of intense personal struggle we are still and relaxed. While a thousand frustrations seek to distract us, we remain focused and attentive. This is the fruit of the Prayer of Rest.” ( Richard J. Foster, Prayer – Finding The Heart’s True Home, p.93). 

All of us could certainly benefit from praying this “Prayer of Rest.” Almost everyone that I come into contact with is busy and struggling with the everyday demands of life. Our lives are filled with many activities and distractions that cause us to neglect our relationship with God and our own spiritual well-being. We have every intention to pause and take time to just be with God but something in our hurried lives always keeps us from setting aside some quiet, restful, and renewing time with God.

I woke up very early this morning and my mind was immediately filled with the many problems and worries of the day ahead. Instead of waking up rested and relaxed, I found myself already tense and stressed about many things that were out of my control. The world that we live in bombards us with worries and problems and sometimes it seems that God is a million miles away. I have prayed to God all week for some peace and direction in the midst of life’s many storms. And honestly, I have complained to God all week because I could not sense His presence in my life. I have prayed and prayed for God to show up for me this week and yet I still felt nothing.

Today, as I woke up feeling a certain separation from God, I decided that I would set aside time this morning to just be quiet and attempt to feel God’s presence. I turned off my phone and the television, and allowed myself to be quiet and still before God. As I began to read my Bible and a devotional book, I began to feel at peace with myself and with God. A feeling of peaceful calm came over me and in the stillness and quietness of that moment; I could sense God’s presence. There was not an audible voice or thunder or anything overwhelming. I was able to simply, yet powerfully, sense God’s still presence in that moment in time and as my body started to relax, my problems, worries and doubts all began to fade away. At least today, I have found some “rest for my soul.”

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29). Amen.

Faith and Hope

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 21•14

Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:8: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Have you been waiting for an answer to a prayer? Have you been waiting a long time for that prayer to be answered? Have you prayed and hoped that God would show himself in the midst of your daily struggles and worries? Have you wondered if God has forgotten you? Is it possible that God has been at work in your life all along, opening up a path that will lead you to where God wants you to go? 

For me, it is the unanswered and unseen side of God that causes me to allow doubt and frustration to enter my mind. I know and I believe that God is present with me, much closer than I probably realize. But it’s the not seeing and not knowing that causes me to struggle with doubt and to question God. The psalmist understood this when he wrote: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:5). We all go through times when we struggle with doubt and with God’s silence; however, we must continue to praise God as we persevere.

The Apostle Paul understood the significance of perseverance and he wrote about it in his Letter to the Romans. Paul was familiar with suffering for the sake of the gospel and he certainly gives us a great example of one who persevered. Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

As believers, we have a hope, a certain confidence, that God is faithful to those who profess their belief in him. We may not completely understand what God is doing, but we trust that whatever it is, God is working things out for our own good. God has never spoken in an audible voice to tell me what he is doing in my life, although there are many times when I wished he would! For me, my faith gives me a confidence that in spite of my failures and struggles, God is going to use those experiences to make me a stronger and more capable follower. And so I continue to persevere with a hope that God will lead me where he wants me to go.

We are left with little choice but to wait upon God to provide us with answers and guidance. Waiting does not come natural for many of us, especially in today’s society. We easily become impatient, even while waiting on God. Hebrews gives us the answer to how we must wait and it is an answer that I am not completely comfortable with. The writer of Hebrews tells us of the certainty of God’s promise as it related to Abraham. God told Abraham that he would bless him and give him many descendants and Abraham believed God and took him at his word. And then we are told: And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (Hebrews 6:15). As children of God, we too must learn to wait patiently upon the Lord.

During this time, we have this “hope” that is given to us, so that we may be encouraged while we wait upon God to act. Hebrews 6:19: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. That hope is found through our belief in Jesus Christ, who has become an anchor for our soul, keeping us safe and secure and giving us hope. The storms of life will come our way, but we can take hope and comfort in knowing that God is faithful and he will bless those who remain true to their faith, wait patiently and persevere.

Even though I have never heard or seen God, I believe that God exists. Because of my confident belief in Christ, I choose to persevere and have faith that God is already at work on answers to my prayers, even if the answer is “no”. I don’t have to “see” proof in order to believe that my God is alive and real. I have faith and hope!

God, I’m Waiting

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 07•14

Habakkuk 1:2a: How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
• How long have you waited on a word from God only to be met with silence?
• How can we learn to wait patiently upon God and trust that he will respond?

This morning, as I find myself searching for answers from God, I turned to the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. I often feel different emotions, as I read Holy Scripture from the prophet Habakkuk. Certainly, I can relate to the prophet’s feeling of frustration, as I also wait on God to provide me with answers to my many questions and concerns. I continue to voice my frustration to God that I have been calling to him and seeking answers, but it seems that God is not listening to what I’m saying. However, I also find hope in the nature and character of God, who promises to be faithful to those who are faithful to him. We will all experience periods of hopelessness and anguish but God’s mercy and love will be made apparent in due time.

Frustration often settles in as I realize that God is working within his own timeframe and not mine. We live in a society where we are accustomed to having answers quickly because of technology and often we expect nothing less from God. We demand that God should reveal his plan to us immediately; we don’t like to be kept waiting on answers, even from God. And also like the prophet Habakkuk, I continue to wait on God for answers to my mounting questions. And I wait, and I wait…..

During my reading of Habakkuk and my quiet time with God this morning, I am reminded that all I can do is to continue on in my life of faith and to trust that God’s way is the right way and the only true way. If I believe that God exists to only provide me with immediate answers to my many questions, then I am guilty of reducing God to some sort of magician that only exists to serve my needs and concerns. God, as the creator and sustainer of life, refuses to allow us to reduce him to our own image of who we want him to be. Our way and our plans are often quite different from God’s will. Habakkuk is certainly frustrated as he awaits a response from God, but he is willing to wait for however long it takes for God to provide him with answers to his concerns.

Habakkuk 3:18: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Do you rejoice in God and praise God even on days when you don’t feel particularly joyful? Habakkuk reminds us that we should offer praise and thanks to God in good times and in difficult times. We must find the inner joy that compels us to praise and thank God no matter what our circumstances may be. We must look beyond our current situation in life and have the faith to believe that God is working behind the scenes to lead us into a fuller life that ultimately gives all honor and praise to God our creator. I needed this reminder today as I continue to struggle with and seek to understand God’s call upon my life.

 

God Reigns

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 02•14

Psalm 93

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea – the LORD on high is mighty. Your statues stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.

The book of Genesis tells us that on the third day of creation, God said “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:9-10). From the beginning, as God created this world, he was in command of the powerful waters that covered the earth and he set boundaries that the sea could not go beyond. By making dry ground appear, God set forth the foundation of the earth and all kinds of plants and vegetation began to grow. And God saw that it was all good.

This world has changed quite a bit since that third day of creation but the one constant is God, who remains in control. As wars rage throughout the world, it’s difficult to imagine a time when the world was in a perfect state before the fall of man. The God of eternity past created this world out of a dark and formless state which was devoid of any life. And the God of the present and eternity future continues to be in complete control over the events of our present time. We may not understand why some things are allowed to happen, but God has a plan in which the events of our day continue to play out, until God declares the Second Coming of Christ.

As I was out walking last night just before dark, I witnessed a beautiful view of the sun setting against the clouds. The late evening sky was a canvas in which God painted the most beautiful scene that I have seen in quite a while. I gazed in awe at the beautiful heavens and the brilliant colors that God created. God’s magnificent handiwork helps me to recognize that the same God who created this world is still in complete control. I give praise to God for the glorious beauty that we can discern every day in this, our temporary earthly home.

Prayer: Thank you God for proclaiming your beauty in this world that we live in each and every day. Open our eyes to help us grasp more of the beauty that you continue to create and display so that we can appreciate and comprehend more fully your wonderful presence in our mundane daily lives. God, you reign forever, Amen.

 

God is in Control

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Sep• 29•14

My adult Sunday school class that I teach has been studying the book of Jeremiah during the month of September. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to deliver some dreadful news to the people living in Jerusalem around 597-587 BC. The people of Judah had continued to commit grievous sins against the LORD. They pretended to follow God but in reality, they had turned away from God and were even worshipping other gods.

While we have learned much about Jeremiah and his calling from God, we nevertheless had difficulty understanding how God could use the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and kill so many of his chosen people. We could come up with many other ways that God could have dealt with his people that would have resulted in fewer deaths. As human beings, we often think that we know better than God how events in our world should unfold. Jeremiah reminds us that the LORD is the same LORD who created the world that we live in. Jeremiah 33:2: “This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it – the LORD is his name.” Jeremiah reminds us that the creator of the heavens and the earth is firmly in control of the events of the world; he doesn’t need or require our help.

We want to “help” God make decisions that affect us because we don’t want to give up any control over our own lives. And many times, God will let us “help” him until we realize that our way was the wrong way. Then God will lovingly take us in His arms and lead us down the path that we should have been on to begin with. This is the process of how we strengthen our faith and learn how to place more and more trust in God – the same God who created the universe. God is still in control of this fallen, sinful, war-torn world that, like Judah, is turning away from God at an ever increasing rate.

God finally had enough of the sinful ways of Judah and he sent Jeremiah to prophecy about their coming destruction. Even though God plainly told the people that Jerusalem would be destroyed and many of them taken away into captivity, God also promised that one day there would once again be joy and rejoicing in Jerusalem. Jeremiah told the people that it was their sin that brought on this judgment from God. Because of their continued rebellion, God had to take action in order to one day restore them.

This study on Jeremiah has caused me to think about the current conditions in our own country and throughout the world. People are turning away from God in order to pursue the things of this world. We want more material things, we want to be noticed and we want to have it all without any sacrifice. Many of us want to be our own god because we think we know what’s best for ourselves and for others. How long will it be before God has enough of our sin and brings judgment and disaster upon us? If we continue to turn away from God, we risk God turning away from us.

I worry about the world that my children and their children are going to grow up in. God is not going to continue to allow us to turn our backs on Him and to deny his authority in this world that He created. The Apostle Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). I’m just afraid that one day, God’s patience will have run its course and we will face the consequences of turning our backs on God.

God told the people of Judah, through the prophet Jeremiah: “I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness” (Jeremiah 33:5). My own personal prayer is that our country and this world will turn back to God and acknowledge that the LORD is the one who is in control of this world that we live in. I pray for God to forgive us of our many sins and to bring about a spiritual renewal in our country that will spread throughout the world. God has done this before and God can certainly do it again.

Jeremiah reminded the people of Judah and even us today to “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever” (Jeremiah 33:11).