TUESDAY, APRIL 21
TEXT: Jeremiah 18:18-23
KEY VERSE: Jeremiah 18:20
Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
The poor mother of a boy had prepared the only food left at home for the child as he got ready to go to school. On noticing that there was nothing else for the mother to eat, the boy started crying out of compassion for his mother.
Meanwhile, as he could not explain why he was crying, the mother misunderstood it for ingratitude and started to beat him. When he came back from school, he was able to explain to the mother why he cried that morning. She hugged him and asked for his forgiveness.
Jeremiah was also often misunderstood for his messages of judgment from God which he must deliver to His people. But he had concern and sympathy for their wellbeing and continued preservation. Meanwhile, his people whose good he sought, misread and him and buffeted him with imprisonment, starvation and threats of death. He cried to God for retributive judgment against those persecutors.
While vengeful prayers were common under the Old Testament dispensation, it is no longer so in the New. Christ, our perfect Example, did not only teach His followers to love their enemies but also to pray for them (Luke 23:34). Stephen also prayed for those who stoned him, which led to the salvation of Paul the apostle. Truly, persecution can at times overstretch the patience of the believer. But he is urged to rejoice because of the future glory that awaits him (Revelation 2:10).
Are you suffering persecution today for Christ’s sake? Cheer up, and look unto Him, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” Sooner or later, you will be with Him in glory if you do not give up.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Persecution may be fierce, but he that endures shall be saved.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Romans 4-6