Week beginning: 29th September, 2013

By Timothy Laurence | Cambridge

"…Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.' "

Jeremiah 45:5 (NIV)

How easy to find ourselves seeking greatness in our own sphere! We want to thrive in ways that people will applaud. It is what drives most of the legal profession.

God's message to Baruch brought a different perspective. As Jeremiah's scribe his job was to deliver news of imminent judgment within the elite circles of Jerusalem's civil authorities. His message was that the glory of this age would soon count for nothing – both in Jerusalem itself and then in all the surrounding nations. This is not the textbook way to win friends and influence people. Consequently Baruch's status update was: "I am worn out…and find no rest." (45:3)

God's reply diagnoses the root of Baruch's tiredness – he is trying to obey God at the same time as angling for personal greatness within a world which is passing away. If Jerusalem and every other nation will be destroyed, what makes Baruch think his own life can remain a bed of roses? When we understand that even God's children will experience suffering in this age, it relieves us of the stress and burdens of false expectations, freeing us up to glorify God and persevere in hardship. This week let's continue to respond to our challenges by trusting in God and persevering in doing good (1 Peter 4:16ff).

Prayer points:

1. Give glory and thanks to God that whatever your situation He is always trustworthy.

2. Pray for the Regional Conference in Scotland this coming weekend, for David as he speaks and that those attending will hear from the Lord.