Devotional: ‘Do Not Be Afraid’

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Recently I have been reading from the book of Jeremiah. This great prophet lived during a time period when the nation of Israel was in terrible sin. Though they were outwardly pretending to still serve God, inwardly they were in rebellion against Him. Thus the LORD called a man by the name of Jeremiah to be His prophet who would warn the people of a coming day of judgment.

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

Sometimes the LORD gives us things to do that are not pleasant or easy. Sometimes He gives us tasks that make us afraid. Yet if the LORD is the one calling us to do it, then we must obey. Jeremiah was afraid to do what God was commanding him. No doubt he had witnessed firsthand much of the sin that was around him and he knew how his fellow countrymen would respond. “I can’t do this”, he protested before the LORD. “I am only a child.” It was most likely that Jeremiah was indeed a young man at this time. Even more so, he felt very ill-prepared and unequipped. “Who am I to preach repentance to the nation of Israel and its spiritual leaders?”

Many of God’s great men have felt inadequate for the task that was before them. Moses asked, “Who am I?” and so did David and his son Solomon. Many of us feel the same way as well whenever the Lord calls us to do something. Who are we? In and of ourselves we are able to do nothing. (Jn 15:5) But in Christ, we are able to do all things. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Php 4:13)

Jeremiah felt inadequate for the task that was before him, yet the LORD reassured him with these 4 spiritual truths:

  • God was the One who had created Jeremiah to be exactly who he was.
  • God was the One who had developed a plan for how was going to use his life.
  • God would guide him throughout his task.
  • God would be with him all along the way.

Has God placed something in your life that seems frightening and overwhelming? Be not afraid. “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

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