I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.” They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.” Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”
Jeremiah 20:10 NLT
Turbulence. I hate it. When I am on an airplane, 30,000 feet up and feel the plane start to shimmy and shake, I instantly feel a tinge of nervousness. If there is prolonged turbulence, my mind races with what will happen to my wife and children after I die in this plane crash. My prayer life soars (pardon the pun) in times of turbulence because fear sets in.
Let’s be honest: Everyone gets afraid. Although people may wear T-shirts that have “NO FEAR” printed on the front … they still fear from time to time. It is just something that we tend to do when we face turbulent times in life.
Are you going through some turbulence right now? Is your life being tossed about like an airplane in a gale force wind? Does it feel like people and circumstances are against you? Are you starting to fear and think the worst?
JEREMIAH’S TURBULENCE … AND GOD’S REMINDER
Jeremiah surely can relate. He was obedient to God, delivering the message God told him to deliver. It was a strong message of pending destruction … and the people didn’t like it. Jeremiah’s CD sales were zero. Instead of heeding the message and repenting before the Lord as Nineveh had done when Jonah preached a similar sermon, the people of Judah hardened heir hearts and stiffened their necks.
The Jewish big wigs had Jeremiah beaten and put in the stocks for preaching such doom and discouragement. Everyone was against Jeremiah. Everyone hated him. Everyone wanted him gone. Everyone … but God.
Although fearful and frustrated with the great turbulence in his life, Jeremiah had this awesome comfort and assurance: The LORD was with him.
“But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, with an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.” Jeremiah 20:11
Don’t you just love that verse? When I feel afraid because all hell breaks loose in my life, I only need to remember that the dread champion is with me. Nobody and nothing can defeat Him.
David said by faith, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves round about” (Psalm 3:6).
The challenge before you and me today is to make sure we are on the same page with the Lord.
If we stray from the Lord’s will and ways, the dread champion will not protect us. But, if we walk in the light with Him, confessing sin, and choosing His path over our path, we can have confident assurance that He will see us through any storm and deliver us from every evil.
Take courage today. Meet your fear with faith. The LORD is with you like a dread champion!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.