when god speaks, are we listening?
By Tiffany Kennedy
October 23, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
2 Timothy 2:1-21
In Jeremiah 42-44, we see a scenario play out that many of us can relate to or have experienced personally in some capacity. I know for myself, there have been many times when I truly want to pray for God's will to be done, but I am really hoping God's will is in line with the outcome I already have in mind. In Jeremiah 42, we see the remnant of Judah reach out to Jeremiah because they want to know whether God wants them to stay in war-torn Judah or go to Egypt where the grass seems to be a lot greener. However, when God speaks (ten days later) they find out God actually wants them to remain in Judah and warns them against going to Egypt.
Why would God command the people to stay in Judah when Egypt seemed to have everything they needed? Why is the answer to our prayers not always what we were hoping for, no matter how sincere and fervent our prayers are? We may not always understand God's will, but we can trust that He knows exactly what He is doing even though that purpose may not be clear to us immediately. In this case, God was protecting the remnant of Judah from famine, imminent idolatry, and God's judgment for disobeying Him.
In my personal life, I have seen this orchestrated especially through some of the most painful events I have experienced in my life. There have been many times when I have prayed for the health of a friend or family member, the salvation of loved ones, or things like landing a new job and the outcome wasn't exactly how I expected God to respond. However, just as God took "ten days" to respond to the people and Jeremiah's request in Jer. 42:7, God has a special purpose and He hears all of our prayers, we just might not get the immediate result we were expecting or hoping for. I have found that experiencing adversity and those prayers that I thought went unanswered were in fact heard by God and His outcome enabled me to ultimately refine my faith and grow closer to Him in ways that I wouldn't have otherwise. It just took me some time, years actually, to finally see His purpose through it all and appreciate it.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, “The Lord is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!”
— Psalm 92:12-15
Prayer to start with: Dear God, help us to make the choice to trust in you daily and to rest assured that while our circumstances are constantly changing, your character has always remained the same. Help us to be confident that you hear every prayer we bring up to You, and make us bold followers and witnesses of your Word. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for hearing our every prayer to you, help others to see your beauty through us and be drawn to You. Amen.