Sermon on April 19 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:1-14
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. How do you give hope to an exiled people who have hung up their harps?
When hardship gets harder:
1. DON’T PANIC – ALL GOD’S PLANS ARE WELL-THOUGHT!
- God’s plans for you were fashioned in eternity (see 1: 4-5)
Even before Jeremiah’s mother was carrying him in the womb, God’s plans for his life and ministry were in motion.
‘Jeremiah’s life did not start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s salvation did not start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s truth did not start with Jeremiah. He entered the world in which the essential parts of his existence were already ancient history. So do we!
God not only has plans for you as an individual and us as a church, but also has plans for the world, using us. (Mat. 24:14)
- God’s plans for you are shaped by His wisdom
Whenever the Lord uproots, it is always to plant something better.
What is God uprooting in your life, and ours as a church, through the virus?
We do not need a detailed plan of the future so much as a bigger and fresher vision of God, who holds the future.
2. BE SURE – ALL GOD’S PLANS ARE ON-TARGET!
- As you wait, be missional, not miserable (29:7)
How are God’s exiled people to wait for the bright future ahead?
‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you’ Babylon’s ‘shalom’ is connected to their ‘shalom’
Pray for safety in your community, for wisdom for those who govern, for peace within families and shalom for Brussels.
- While you wait, expect good within the bad
Through this time, God is exposing false prophets and is teaching us patience and how to value the place where He has put us.
God’s good plan for Daniel included the afflictions he and his friends endured.
There is no bad or evil we go through that God does not use for our eternal good and His glory.
3. BE SATISFIED – ALL GOD’S PLANS END AS PLANNED!
- ‘I will provide all you need when you need it’ (v12)
God’s people did not have to wait for the end of exile (70 years) for God’s presence and help. Nor do we.
If God’s best-laid plan is for us to be more like Jesus, the lockdown will help us to see Him with all our hearts.
- ‘I promise all I am for all your tomorrows’ (33:16)
God’s future for His people was brighter than they could imagine – not just joy in a restored city, but in the promised King.
He who saves us from the crippling disease of sin, brings us into His kingdom of peace and joy.
‘…in those days, Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord our Righteous Savior’
Peace, shalom and joy are ultimately wrapped up in Jesus – the only King whose throne outlasts diseases and death.
Remember! The hope and future for God’s people was never ‘your best life now’. It is rooted in Jesus, and the city to come.
What is our hope in life and death? Christ alone!
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER
1. What do you find most difficult about this time of lockdown? Tell the Lord what is on your heart.
2. What is the Lord teaching you about Himself and yourself? Praise the Lord for these.
3. Why should we never be too comfortable in life in times of lockdown or of ease? Take one promise of God and meditate on it daily.