Jeremiah 24:5-7  Then the word of the LORD came to me:  “This is what the LORD , the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.  My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land.  I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.  I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD . They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.’”

I am thankful for the M’Cheyne program for systematically reading through the Bible, which means that I am studying Jeremiah along with Acts at the moment.  My ‘soft’, ‘sin-affected’ heart/mind needs to be reminded continually that everything that is happening in the world around me is happening, not by chance, but is a definite part of the outworking of God’s sovereign, redemptive plan for his world as we look forward to the time when the Lord Jesus will return to ‘make all things new’, just as he promised (Revelation 21:5).

Unpopular, and culturally unacceptable as it was in his own day. the faithful, lone-voice prophet’s message was really a message of hope to a suffering, feeling-rejected people.  It was reassuring them that, in the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, Q.27: “Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he still upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty – all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his Fatherly hand.”

And I need such a reminder today!  Moreover, reading through Acts alongside this enables me to be reminded of how the Risen Lord Jesus Christ ‘built his Church’ so effectively against very active opposition so that even ‘the gates of hell’ could neither ‘overpower’ nor ‘prevail against’ it, just as he promised (see Matthew 16:18).  O may my poor, weak heart sing joyfully with Samuel John Stone, “Though with a scornful wonder men see her [the Church] sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed; yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, ‘How long?’  And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.”  Can I confidently trust God with his plan, regardless of how difficult, and counter-intuitive, I might find it to understand WHY he is doing what he is doing?
– Bruce Christian