Many judge the presence of God by the circumstances they are surrounded with.
Jeremiah was in confinement when the word of the Lord came to him, interestingly, not about the confinement but in furtherance of the prophetic mandate on his life (Jeremiah 33:1-26).
This shows that the circumstances of your life does not determine the call of God and is no indicator of whether you are in the centre of God’s will or not.
That was the error of a church that God sent a message to in the book of revelation- the church of the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:17-19). They observed their physical condition of relative wealth and comfort and conclude that definitely, they must be right with God, while another church was hailed as being in the centre of the will of God though they are is dire circumstances (Revelation 2:8-11).
While carrying out God’s assignment for him, Jeremiah found himself more than once in prison, and at times with threats to his life. He didn’t choose that as Jesus Christ was led in the will of God into the wilderness for a time of testing, by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1).
To be exposed to hardship is not an indicator of being out of sync with God. Ananias, was told by Jesus about the suffering that Paul would go through, for His name sake (Acts 9:15-16) before going through any of them. Paul himself suffered imprisonment, and some of the letters he wrote from there attained the level of scriptures, impacting generations’ afterwards.
Therefore, don’t be so irked that irritating circumstance as to lose sight of the fact that the will of God, the service you should give to God, must continue. The word of God still came to Jeremiah in confinement. It is interesting that the word which came to him Jeremiah were beautiful words of hope for the children of Israel the same set of people that had him incarcerated (Jeremiah 33:1-26). That is contradiction and I’ll get to that shortly.
God did not speak to him about the imprisonment, as far as God was concerned that issue was a non issue, but there is a calling on you that should not be hindered by anything.
Paul said the awareness of the ministry they have received from God causes them not to lose heart in the situation that confronts him (2Corinthians 4:1- 5:4). The fact that we have a place in the plans and purposes of God on the earth should strengthen us. We have the assurance of the presence of God, of the word of God that is sure against the changing faces of life’s situation.
The possible contradiction between our lives’ situations and the calling of God on our lives is described by Paul as having treasures in earthen vessels, in speaking of the fragility of the human existence, contradicting the eternal value that we bare. We should not lose sight of this no matter what. God will not let go of you, no matter what, but make sure you don’t let Him go.
Paul adds to it that even though our outward man perishes, the inward man is renewed daily. The outward man corresponds to earthen vessels while the treasure corresponds to the inward man. He goes further to say that the light affliction worked in them an eternal weight of glory. Also the writer of the book of Hebrews accented that the contradictions that we see in our lives are means of God to discipline as sons (Hebrews 12:1-11).
From the foregoing we see a series of contradictions that we as Christians, as ministers of God are supposed to experience. It is definitely contradictory for Jeremiah to be a prophet of the Most High God and be confined by lowly men. However, if you can still see God in your contradiction, you can see him indeed.
It was also contradictory for Jesus the creator to be hanged on the cross by those he created. That was the ultimate contradiction. It was the ultimate contradiction for the eternal pure one to come to the point of bearing the sin of humanity. It is the height of contradiction for God to be born of a woman.
Nevertheless, those who are called to live in the contradiction of having the full life of God in us and the experience difficulty with the natural life are those who grasp the ultimate contradiction: God manifesting as man.
Paul, writing to the Romans highlighted this fact when he said we groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of our body (Romans 8:19-23). The fact that we have eternal life but can die is a contradiction, which is why we groan. We desire to have what is inside us take over what is outside, whether we know it or not. We exist in a contradiction of seating with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and still get floored sometimes by life’s situations, our experiences not fully tallying with our appraised potentials. We don’t then give up on God since he does not give up on us.
Jeremiah may be confined but his calling as a prophet was not. The relationship of God with him was as rosy as ever (though the prison he was in was bereft of all colours) with God downloading loads of words to him. Though bent down probably in chains, he stands tall in his connection with God.
That was the experience of Paul and Silas (P and S) in prison (Acts 16:22-40). One might have thought that since they were going about in the service of God then imprisonment would be far from them. Not so!
However, their attitude in that confinement was to focus on the word of God. In praise and prayer flowed from their mouths. They did not spend their time wondering if they have missed God somewhere, embarking of self examination that is capable of blinding the eyes from appreciation God.
They expressed faith in God by their prayer and praise resulting in an earthquake that broke away their chains. They were physically in confinement but their spirits were not. They kept their sights on God, they would not back down but become more fired up in their passion even while in confinement. They did not say that until God shows up to save us, we would keep sulking. They continued to stand for truth, to stand up for the word, in confinement.
WordFromGod: just as you can’t compare time with eternity so you can’t compare the present pain with the glory after.
- Against All Odds (dailybibleplan.com)