I have been reading through the book of Jeremiah in the Bible and quite honestly at times I find the reading to be dry, repetitious and so on. The problem of course lies with me, not with the Scriptures. Anytime we find ourselves struggling to get through Scripture, what it means is that we are out of tune with God and not that there is something wrong with God and His Word.
Anyway, to improve my understanding of Jeremiah, I have supplemented my reading by listening to sermons from the Gospel Coalition. In listening to a sermon on Jeremiah 15, I picked up an insight from Northern Irish Pastor Edward Donnelly that I have found to be most salutary and encouraging. I would like to share that here. Pastor Donnelly is the retired pastor of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church out in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He is also the Principal and a Professor at Reformed Theological College in Belfast, Ireland.
~ “The task given to this man [Jeremiah] is one of the most difficult assigned to a human being and he did it! … a brave, staunch and courageous man. One of the bravest men in history. And friends let me put this to you. This is the highest type of courage. Some people are naturally brave. There is no imagination. It is easy for them to be brave. That’s great. I would love to be like that.
But a higher sort of bravery is the person who is terrified but goes on ahead in any case. Some people on Go-teams[?] – door to door. Easy- [Word ???] No problem. Wake up with a happy smile. Oh Good! Its door to door today.
Others of us, look out wondering if possibly a thunderstorm would come so that we don’t have to go out. Or if somebody wouldn’t be in. And you young people you feel sick when you are walking up the path and you are frightened and you are nervous, but you go ahead and you do it. You do it! That’s the highest type of courage. The person who is frightened. The person who is nervous … is vulnerable, but goes ahead and does it. The person who is easily hurt but continues and I think that is what God did with Jeremiah. God made Jeremiah such a man. And my friend you will experience this enabling.
Remember what I am saying. I am not saying it won’t hurt, but God will enable you to keep on. Remember Paul. ‘I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.'”
Sermon: Jeremiah – Faithful Witness – Pastor Edward Donnelly.