Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 1 John 5:1 (NIV) The mark of a genuine Christian is not a general faith in God, but a specific faith in Jesus. Many people think a general faith in God makes you a Christian; it doesn’t. Jesus...
Whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. Jeremiah 20:8
You have to admire Jeremiah. He was a man of immense courage. He spoke the Word of God even when the message was painful and unpopular. He endured mockery and cruelty because of his ministry.
Through all the abuse he suffered, he was like a concrete wall. But when he went home, in private, his mind was filled with questions as the darkness of doubt seemed to sweep over his soul.
That is when he wrote the words that we read here in Jeremiah 20. Jeremiah is pouring out his complaint to God and venting the frustration of his disappointed hopes and his shattered dreams.
In other words, Jeremiah was saying, “You gave me your message, Lord, but you didn’t tell me what they would do with the messenger! If you had sent me, Lord, to preach a message of affirmation, then people would have received me happily. But the crowds will never embrace what you have told me to say. It is against every instinct that is in them. It only brings me insult and reproach. People listen and then they say to me, ‘How could you possibly believe such a thing? Who do you think you are anyway?’”
Have you ever felt like that about the gospel message? When?