“This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Reference: Jeremiah 17:5-8 )
I was ready to feel discouraged and distressed about trusting in people – you see, I have been reading a lot of posts from the Facebook support group I joined recently. I have been very encouraged by reading their posts and posting my own comments. But then I looked up the comments made by Albert Barnes on this passage, and he says concerning verse five and following, “In the rest of the prophecy Jeremiah dwells upon the moral faults which had led to Judah’s ruin.” It reminded me that Jeremiah is talking about military strength and false worship practices. And he says concerning verse 6, “God’s people feel trouble as much as other people, but they do not fear it because they know (1) that it is for their good, and (2) that God will give them strength to bear it.”
Now do not think that God creates “trouble” just so the faithful will stay that way and that we do not have the strength to bear our troubles that means we have not been faithful enough to God. That is a trap that I learned to avoid many years ago. Trouble will find us whether we believe in God or not. But when trouble comes we can depend on God being with us every step of the way, and that God’s wisdom will be available to us to solve our troubles or withstand them until they are past. And we do not have to have the strength to bear our troubles. We can say we are weak and are made low by troubles. There is no shame in that. In fact admitting our limitations and relying on God is just what the Divine is hoping we will do. We would be foolish to try to face our problems without God.
And the second part of the passage says just that. When trouble threatens to “dry us out”, God is there to water us and get us through the heat. And even in the midst of our trouble, our faithfulness to God will help us bear fruit. Often my Facebook friends will commend each other to God, and ask for prayer and prayer for those who are in need. We are a “well watered” group!
May you beloved hold tightly to God through your troubled times, and may God keep you “moist” so that you may withstand the heat of your troubled times. Selah!