Session 17

Don't follow your heart

From Jeremiah: A 33-Day Devotional

No matter how hard we work or save or plan ahead, sometimes the unforeseeable happens. A bad diagnosis. Layoffs at work. A spouse who's had enough. A child who gets in with the wrong crowd. A house that's seemingly falling apart. No matter if it's tragedy or the worst-timing-ever, it can leave us feeling helpless.

Jeremiah shows us two ways of handling these situations: by trusting in our own ability to find a way through or trusting in the Lord. The man or woman who trusts in himself is left "in a salt land where no one lives;" whereas the person who trusts in the Lord is "like a tree planted by the water… It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:6-8). Jeremiah then calls the heart “deceitful” and “beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9).

If we understand that we cannot ever rely on our own understanding or intuition to lead us in the best direction, Jesus becomes the obvious choice. With Him, we cannot fail.

But sometimes, even when we do take steps of faith to trust God, our hearts relentlessly question the choice. While we are questioning if God will come through, Psalm 33 shows us what God is doing:

"No king is saved by the size of his army; 
   no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
   despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
   and keep them alive in famine" (Psalm 33:16-19).

Our God is watching out for those who hope in His unfailing love. This doesn't mean hard times won't happen, but it does mean there is a way through them. The Lord will never fail you. No matter what your heart says, He is true. Your faith will not go unanswered.

Reflect:

  • What situation do you know the Lord is asking you to trust Him with?
  • How have circumstances or your heart made it difficult to do so? What can you do differently?

17 of 33

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Thank God for the friends who will tell it like it is

Some of us grew up in a sanitized church. We put on ties or dresses, threw on a happy face, and pretended everything was perfect for an h...

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Session 2

No sin is too bad

In Jeremiah 3, God’s people had really messed up. God had invested a lot in them. He freed them from slavery, led them into a new home an...

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Session 3

God sees who you can be not who you are

Life is challenging enough. Then someone tells us we aren’t, can’t, or shouldn’t, and we find ourselves believing our limitations are gre...

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Session 4

Change starts with a choice

Have you ever restored an old piece of furniture? There’s potential beyond the outdated paint, spots of rust, and decades of caked-on dir...

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Session 5

You’re equipped, but are you willing?

Being the only Christian at work, in your social circle or in your family is tough. Often our values and choices don’t line up with those...

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Session 6

Is anyone listening?

Do you ever find yourself in situations where you have something important to say but no one is willing to listen? As Christ followers we...

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Session 7

Am I worshipping idols?

Some people treat the church as a check off on a list of places to see and things to do. Others think it’s where they are supposed to be ...

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Session 8

Why it’s wise to heed the warnings

The signs are all there:   Do not enter. Turn around. One-way street. The problem is, the path is so alluring and attractive we look ...

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Session 9

What really matters?

"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy has become one of the most loved fantasy stories of all time. Even if you’ve never seen a movie or read o...

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Session 10

Who is directing your life?

Fashion magazines tell us what’s beautiful. News anchors tell us what diseases or people to fear, and bloggers give us a million reasons ...

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Session 11

Where to turn when the struggle is all too real

A student signed up for a tutoring session with a teacher. He showed up with no pencil and paper, didn’t ask questions, and only half lis...

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Session 12

Just when you think things can’t get worse

Anyone who’s ever played sports has heard ball players bemoan their hard luck and the consequences they suffer. We’ve also heard the back...

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Session 13

What happens when we forget the power of grace

Pick your favorite pair of underpants. Run them through the mud. Mix them in the trash. Then clean out your gutters with them. Are they s...

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Session 14

Why won’t God shield me from the consequences?

One day, a boy who took care of sheep decided to play a mean trick. At the top of his lungs, he screamed, “Wolf!”  All who heard came run...

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Session 15

Do you trust God with some or with all?

Life can be overwhelming, and we often feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. Maybe it’s the children screaming or the troubled r...

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Session 16

Why are you hiding?

“My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes” (Jeremiah 16:17).   Just because w...

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Session 17

Don’t follow your heart

No matter how hard we work or save or plan ahead, sometimes the unforeseeable happens. A bad diagnosis. Layoffs at work. A spouse who’s h...

Read Devotional

Session 18

God is shaping you for something great

Have you ever seen clay before it becomes a bowl or vase? Clay is an earthy material, thicker and slimier than mud. But in a potter’s han...

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Session 19

May I have your attention please?

In nearly every story in the Bible, God is attempting to get someone’s attention. Jeremiah 19 describes how the people in Judah had turn...

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Session 20

When something is this good, you can’t hold it in

Most people either love or hate sushi. Sushi haters will scrunch their faces at the idea of raw fish. Sushi lovers will try to convince s...

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Session 21

Go to God with the good and the bad

Your phone rings. It’s a friend you haven’t heard from in months. Usually, you’re excited to talk to her, but not this time. You remembe...

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Session 22

Is your faith your own?

When we think of inheriting something, we usually think of money or land or property — things we can see and touch. But we also have a t...

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Session 23

Looking for clues about what God is up to

Watching a movie is a different experience when you’ve already read the book. You know how the story ends. You’re not wondering if the he...

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Session 24

When you find yourself asking, "Why me?

We all face troubles and trials of many kinds. The reasons aren’t always clear, and it often seems unfair. When difficulty comes, it can ...

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Session 25

Why listen to God?

The buffet was still open, so you went back for a second plate...and dessert...and more dessert. By the time you realized what you had do...

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Session 26

Don’t take the easy way out

Have you ever felt like God wanted you to invite a co-worker or even a stranger to church? Maybe you wanted to share your story, but you ...

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Session 27

Feel like you’re stuck in a difficult situation?

We’ve all had a boss we couldn’t stand and jobs we barely survived. For some, it was a rough family to grow up in or a person above you w...

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Session 28

Are you suffering from information overload?

Today’s technology gives us instant access to unlimited information about everyone and everything. But how do we know what is fact and wh...

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Session 29

What to do when it seems like God has disappeared

Has God ever seemed to disappear? Maybe apathy seems to be consistently overruling faith.  Maybe a habit has developed and taken the plac...

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Session 30

How much does God love you?

“Son, you disobeyed me. I love you too much to allow you to disobey.” Every parent faces this moment, and it’s not easy. Children disobe...

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Session 31

Jesus came to rescue you

The Bible is the most unique collection of writings to ever exist. It was written over 1,500 years by God through 44 different people. Ea...

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Session 32

You gotta have faith

In 1988, British pop star George Michael released, “Faith,” a song about the need to move on from a bad relationship. The refrain goes, “...

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Session 33

Looking for a love that just won’t quit?

Time and time again, God’s chosen people turned away from His love and protection. God showed them the horrible consequences they would s...

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