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Jeremiah: Refrain from weeping, for your work shall be rewarded

What comes to mind when you think of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah? Many of us remember the text in Jeremiah 1:5 where God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” When we read a statement like this about someone, we immediately think of a person who did a marvelous work for God. Someone who was filled with passion and zeal to serve God and glorify Him

Around the middle of the book of Jeremiah, we find an interesting verse. In 31:16 it says, “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded.” Now what would this great man (spokesman for God) have been crying about? Why would he need to be encouraged? Doesn’t God have a wonderful plan for everyone’s life? Especially someone who was set apart for a certain task, even before he was born.

In the last article we looked at King Asa, how God had blessed and encouraged him with the assurance that his work would be rewarded, II Chronicles 15:17. But Asa chose to disobey God; instead of God’s blessing being realized, God’s judgment came down on him and the people.

There was a huge difference between Asa and Jeremiah; Jeremiah was faithful to God until the day of his death. Asa had enjoyed success and blessing in this life until he disobeyed God. Jeremiah had trials, tribulation, and persecution; he is often referred to as the weeping prophet. Probably because the people rejected his message from God and would not obey. In II Chronicles 36:18, this is what God said about him, he was someone “who spoke from the mouth of the Lord.” He made God first in his life, and was true to the One who sent him.

Many of us would be quick to say we want to be like Jeremiah. We want to be true to God’s calling, instead of being self-centered like Asa. But are we ready to walk the path God has laid out for many of His servants? Most of us would rather have the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, rather than the truth of II Timothy 3:12. “Yes, and all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

The life of Jeremiah was filled with heart-ache, pain, and sadness. So exactly when did God reward him? I believe he received a small reward every night when he went to bed; he had a peace that only God could give because he had been faithful one more day. He was also laying up treasure in heaven, a reward that would be enjoyed in the presence of the King of Heaven.

Matthew 6:20 says, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Are we willing to suffer like Jeremiah, that we might experience the encouragement and reward of Almighty God? Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, Jeremiah 31:16. Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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