BEST OF TQFG: Quit nagging about the stuff you don’t have.

Photo courtesy of Alan Turkus.

We hope you enjoy this re-post from November 11, 2013. Be blessed! The Today’s Quote From God Team

And should you seek great things for yourself? -Jeremiah 45:5, Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Book of Jeremiah is saturated with extremely long chapters, but it has a few short ones as well, with one in particular standing out.

Jeremiah Chapter 45 is a mere five verses long. In it God addresses Baruch the son of Neriah, a man who, in Jeremiah 36, wrote the words of God as Jeremiah dictated them to him. Then, while Jeremiah was in hiding, Baruch proclaimed God’s words of prophecy by reading the scrolls to the people. However, after Jehoiakim king of Judah heard the words of God’s prophecy, the king sought to destroy Jeremiah AND Baruch, both of whom God protected from Jehoiakim’s clutches.

In response to the danger, Baruch did what most of us would do – he griped, complained, and fretted. God thought enough of Baruch’s complaints to respond to them personally (through Jeremiah), and this, in a nutshell, is what He had to say to Baruch:

Quit nagging, quit seeking stuff for yourself, and rest in the fact that I’m going to protect your life.

The Amplified Bible records God’s words in a slightly more classy way:

And should you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not; for behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, says the Lord, but your life I will give to you [as your only booty and] as a [snatched] prize of war wherever you go.

From Jeremiah 45:5, we get a pretty clear picture that Baruch was fretting not only because he was being hunted by the king; he was also fretting because, as a result of his circumstances, he wasn’t able to enjoy the finer things of life.

Let’s face it; we all want stuff. We all want ease. We fill our days with the pursuit of these things, and we get quite irritated when anything gets in the way of our quest. What God told Baruch, however, applies to us as well. Yeah, God may allow us to have some cool stuff and peaceful ease from time to time, but we shouldn’t be surprised when the troubles of life get in the way of us getting everything we want.

When reality gets in the way of our quest for the perfect life, we need to realize that God never promises to give us everything we want. He does, however, promise to protect our lives as a reward for our commitment to Him. In Baruch’s case, the life God promised to protect was Baruch’s earthly life, but we cannot be sure that God will preserve our earthly lives when the danger comes. His plan for us might very well be to die so that others may live. No doubt, we will meet countless saints in Heaven who died an “untimely” death so that others might find Christ through their deaths. Even if we have to die an “untimely” death on Earth, however, God absolutely will preserve our eternal lives, and that is a guarantee no one can thwart.

What should we do when life doesn’t go our way? We should look to Heaven and take comfort in the eternal life of peace and joy that is guaranteed to all of God’s born again children. We should realize that this life isn’t about accumulating great things for ourselves. It is about growing to be more like Christ. With that as God’s goal for us, we shouldn’t be surprised if things are tough for us. They were for tough for Christ. We should actually be surprised if things are well with us, and if they are we should be extremely grateful and not take God’s blessings for granted.

When times are tough, focus on the gain of Heaven that awaits you and not on the loss of things that confronts you today. If you focus on Heaven, then you’ll have hope in your heart in the midst of the storm. If you focus on the here and now, you’ll be like Baruch.

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