I came across these verses again recently, and the truth of them hit me afresh! So often, we struggle with discontentment, and feel that we are somehow missing out in some way. We wonder (and sometimes pray in this direction, too), “What will bring true joy and peace in my life?”
Well, I believe that the first sentence of this passage from Jeremiah 17 is the Lord’s prescription for us on how to experience that peace that we so eagerly seek. If I’m reading this correctly, our peace is bound up tightly with our focus; if we seek the Lord, we’ll find peace with Him, but if we focus our attentions elsewhere, well, that is when the uneasiness starts to creep in.
It looks like we are required to do five things:
🔳 Believe the Lord – take Him at His Word;
🔳 Trust the Lord – the next step beyond belief, where we understand that He always has our best interests at heart;
🔳 Rely on the Lord – this is yet another progression on our journey, requiring us to lean on Him fully and completely, rather than on ourselves;
🔳 Hope in the Lord – dare we entrust our God-honoring desires and dreams to Him? Do we truly believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, as the Bible claims?
🔳 Confidently expect the Lord to act. This is the end of the journey – a confident belief, trust, reliance, and hope in the Lord, paired with a solid measure of faith that now rests in Him, His goodness, and His promises.
According to the Bible, this is what the “blessed man” – or perhaps the “blessed life” – looks like. Put another way, it’s about believing, but not necessarily seeing; about trusting, even in the midst of doubts; about leaning when everything in us says we should stand on our own; about hoping in the face of our fears; and about expecting God to act on our behalf because He’s God, and He cares for us.
And what happens when we do this?
We’re like the tree described in the latter half of the passage. We will do more than simply survive when the heat and drought come – we will thrive. I truly believe that this is what lives of fulfillment look like.
Will you pray with me?
Dear Lord, I thank You for this timely reminder from Jeremiah 17. Would You please help me to believe, trust in, rely upon, hope in, and confidently expect Your divine help in my life? Even when going Your way makes no sense to anybody else but You, empower me through Your Spirit to walk on, hand in Hand, with You each day. We know that the heat and drought may come, but so long as we hold You by the hand, we know that everything will be alright in the end. In Your name I pray, amen.