What Can We do in Difficult Times?

A young school boy was saying his nightly prayers. Please make Boulder the capitol of Colorado. His mother asked, why did you ask that? The boy replied, because that’s what I put down on my test today. (Source Unknown). … More

Prayer

Jeremiah was imprisoned, yet God gave him instruction in prayer. What can we do in difficult times? God invites us to call on Him. Like Jeremiah we can respond to God’s invitation to prayer. 1. His prompting - “Call on me” (v. 33a). 2. His promise - (v. 33b). (a) “I will answer thee” (b) “I will show thee” 3. His provision - “Great and mighty things which you do not know” (v. 33c).

Let’s look at some examples of answered prayer from Scripture: Hannah prayed, and God gave her a son, Samuel. Elijah prayed and it didn’t rain for 3 ½ years. He prayed again and the rains returned. On another occasion, Elijah prayed and God consumed the sacrifice that had been drenched with water (1 Kings 18:37-38). Elisha prayed and God gave life back to a dead child. Samson prayed and God gave him back his strength. Paul and Silas prayed and the prison they were in was shaken and the jailer got saved! Jesus prayed a brief prayer, and Lazarus came back from the dead.

  1. Judgment: (vv. 1-5) tells us that God will judge His people. Jerusalem’s houses will be torn down so their stones can be used to repair the city. In their battle with the Babylonians, the streets would be littered with the dead bodies of Jerusalem’s defenders.
  2. Restoration: (vv. 6-13) He will restore His people in an incredible way (v. 6). One day God will bring health and healing to the land that had been so severely judged. (v. 6). First, the blessing will involve restoration to the Land. (v. 7). He will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. Second, the blessing will involve a restoration to the Lord. (v. 8). He will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Third, the blessing will involve a restoration to a special place among the nations (vv. 9-13).

Application

God is ready to answer my prayers but I must ask for His assistance.

Jeremiah 33:1-13 (English Standard Version)

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: "Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it--the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword: They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil. Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. "Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, 'It is a waste without man or beast,' in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: "'Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!' For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks. In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD."

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