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Blessing in Bad Times

God had a hard calling for Jeremiah. God sent Jeremiah to tell about His future judgment on the Israelites. Despite the difficult message, Jeremiah was faithful. We expect God to immediately bless that kind of obedience. But in the middle of following God’s commands, Jeremiah was beaten and forced to endure ridicule from his friends.

We can serve God and still have bad things happen to us. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 8:34, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” We are called to follow Jesus to the cross. On the cross, Jesus experienced excruciating pain as a punishment for our sin. His life was proof that following God does not automatically result in a pain-free existence.

While following Jesus sometimes leads to pain, Jeremiah shows us it also leads to blessing. In the midst of Jeremiah’s suffering, he felt the blessing of God’s nearness. This allowed him to praise God. God will often call you to difficult places that allow you to lean on His presence in a way you wouldn’t get to otherwise. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus promised we would experience the blessing of that presence if we follow Him. “Therefore go and make disciples ... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Think back to difficult seasons in the past. How did the Lord bless you during those times and deepen your relationship? Maybe you’re in a tough season now. Pour your heart out to the Lord, and as you lean on Him for strength, look for Him to appear in the very circumstances that would otherwise cause you to wonder if He’s real.

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