March 2020 Newsletter
Updated: Mar 29
from the desk of the Pastor Rev. William “Bill” Dandridge
"In times like these we need a Saviour, In times like these we need an anchor. We need to grip the Solid Rock. His name is Jesus, Yes, he’s the only one. Be very sure that your anchor holds and you grip the Solid rock. In times like these we need the Bible. Since due to the times like these there will be no worship service, no devotion this morning, no songs of Zion, no altar call for prayer and no Word of God preached from the pulpit, I needed to share this with you. If I had preached this morning this would have been the text so please take a look and be blessed in times like these. Love and prayers with you all during this time! God bless!"
IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR GOD
The book of Jeremiah was written against the backdrop of supreme evil. The people of God have walked away from God and they have embraced the gods of the pagan nations around them. Their character can be seen in Jer. 32:28-35. Because of their sin, God is bringing His judgment upon the people. It was a time of pain, sorrow, death and judgment. It was into this atmosphere that Jeremiah was sent to preach the Word of the Lord. Jeremiah was sent to a people who would not hear his message. He was sent to a people who would turn a deaf ear to all his pleas for repentance. He was sent to a people who were so given over to their sins that they had no desire to hear anything God or God’s man had to say. Jeremiah preached in this climate for 50 years and there is not record that he had even a single convert. It was a tragic time for the nation of Israel. Jeremiah was sent to them to preach a message of judgment. He was sent to the people to let them know that they had angered God and they were about to be judged. Jeremiah was commanded to tell them that their nation would be invaded. He was sent to tell them that they would be taken away captive. He was sent to deliver a message of final judgment to their king. As a result, Jeremiah was not the most popular man in his nation. In fact, he was arrested and thrown into prison by king Zedekiah for preaching the truth, Jer. 32:1-5. (By the way, those days are not far away in America.) Thus, Jeremiah wrote the passage we have read today while he was sitting in prison. Out of that tragic and difficult time comes a ray of hope for all those who know the Lord. While Jeremiah languished in that prison, the Lord came to him with a word of hope, blessing and promise. The words of Jeremiah offer the same comfort to our hearts today. As everyone here knows, we are living in tough times. Times are rough spiritually. Times are tough economically. Times are tough for the church. Times are tough for the family. Times are tough on individuals. Times are tough right now. I want you to know that the same God Who spoke peace to Jeremiah in that prison cell is the same God Who knows where you are today. He was The God Of The Impossible then, and He is still The God Of The Impossible now. Jeremiah 32:17 says there is nothing too hard for God. In the midst of all this confusion we need to remember nothing is too hard for God to deal with.
32:17-22 JEREMIAH’S CONFIDENCE
In this great prayer of hope, Jeremiah presents the evidence he has collected about God that shows Him to be The God Of The Impossible. Jeremiah found hope in a desperate time by considering the nature of His God. Since God does not change, Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8, we can rest in the same hope today. Remember the song hold to God’s unchanging hands. Build your hopes on things eternal. Hold to God’s Unchanging Hands. 32:17 God’s Creation - When Jeremiah considers the work of God hands, he understands that he is serving a God with Whom nothing shall be impossible. The heavens above us and the world around us declare the power and Person of God. His creation declares Him to be The God Of The Impossible. Genesis 1:1 is perhaps the greatest commentary on God’s power. Regardless of what lies in your path today remember that, if you are His, you belong to the God Who made it all. If He can make everything out of nothing, then He can be trusted to take care of you. 32:18-20 God’s Character - The language Jeremiah uses to describe God in the verses serves to remind us of Who He is. He is the God of grace, love, mercy, and provision. He is the God of miracles and power. He is the God Who moves heaven and earth, and suspends the very laws of nature, if necessary to meet the needs of His children. Hello, Elijah, the 3 Hebrew boys, Daniel, more than 5,000 who were fed, the disciples in the storm, Lazarus, the woman with the issue of blood and on and on. Beloved, He has not changed! He is the same God now that He was then. He still knows what it takes and possesses what it takes to see you through whatever you may face in this life. 32:21-22 God’s Conversion - Jeremiah also finds confidence from the Lord’s power as it was displayed in Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. He recounts how the Lord moved to deliver them from Egypt. He remembers how God brought them into the land of Canaan. He writes of how the Lord demonstrated His power to save His people. That thought gives him confidence. It should do the same for us. When I think of God making the world, and everything that is a part of it, I marvel. When I think of Him creating light with a word, I am amazed. When I think of the vastness of the universe and how He created the stars, moons and planets just by speaking them into existence, I am speechless. But, when I think that a holy, eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, God would condescend to love the likes of sinners like us, I am brought to my knees in worship. When I contemplate His love, I realize that if He can take a black heart, wash it is the red blood of His Son, and make it whiter than snow, He can do anything! That gives me confidence!
32:23-25 JEREMIAH’S CRISIS
32:23-24 The Problems He Faced - While the people of God have been blessed, they have refused to walk in the will of the Lord. As a result, they are experiencing His judgment on their nation. Seeing the wrath of God being poured out firsthand causes Jeremiah some inner disturbance of the soul. He is perplexed by what he sees happening around him. It brings him to a time of crisis in his life, and yet, he knows this is what the Lord said would happen, v. 24. So, you have a holy man living in the midst of an unholy people. They are suffering for their sins, and he is suffering right along with them. I don’t care how strong, or how well grounded you are, that would cause anyone problems. It bothers us too, doesn’t it? We have somehow gotten the idea that knowing the Lord somehow guarantees us freedom from the problems of life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, serving the Lord in a wicked hour like the one in which we live will guarantee us that we will face problems in our day just like Jeremiah did. God is judging our nation, and the people of God will suffer right along with it. As our economy suffers, we will suffer too. As morality and wickedness grow, that will affect us as well. Add to that the fact that Satan will see to it that God’s children are hated, attacked and persecuted, 2 Tim. 3:12, and you have a recipe for spiritual crisis. If a person is not well grounded, there is always the potential that they will fall by the wayside when trouble comes their way. 32:25 The Plan He Followed - After Jeremiah is thrown into prison, he is commanded by the Lord to purchase a piece of property from his cousin, 32:6-12. This transaction caused Jeremiah some serious moments of doubt. Think about it, he is preaching to the people that judgment is coming. He is telling them that their nation is about to be destroyed and all the people are about to be taken away to Babylon as slaves. Yet, God tells Jeremiah to buy a piece of property. Why do you buy property in the first place? Most people buy it because they have plans for the future. Maybe they are going to build a home, start a business, make an investment in the future, or just have something to pass along to the next generation. Jeremiah is buying a piece of property he will probably never see, much less use. This transaction brought Jeremiah to a moment of crisis in his life. The fact is, when the Lord works in ways that we do not understand, it leaves us perplexed as well. I confess to you there are many things I do not understand why we are dealing with this crisis right now. I don’t understand why the deaths, all the cases and the confusion this virus has caused. I don’t understand why individuals are out of work, why we have to cut down our contact with people and why for the sake of the health of the people I have to cancel church services. There are many things I don’t understand, but if I focus on those things, I will have a moment of crisis as well. I must learn to look past the things I cannot fathom to seer the face of the God who controls all things. Psalms 121 – I will look mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord who maketh heaven and earth. 32:25 The Predicament He Feared - I think part of Jeremiah’s crisis came from the fact that he didn’t want to look like a fool. Here he was, in prison, buying a piece of land, when the nation was on the brink of destruction. Surely he thought the people around him would think he had lost his mind. Isn’t that a part of our problem sometimes? We know what the Lord wants us to do, and sometimes we even do it, but it often seems so unnatural and so strange to us, that we worry about what the rest of the world thinks about our actions. Nobody wants to look foolish to other people, but sometimes God’s commands just don’t make sense. Think about it:
Moses was commanded to hold a stick over an ocean when the people of God were under attack - Ex. 14.
Moses was commanded to cut down a tree and throw it into a pool of water to make it drinkable - Ex. 15.
Moses was commanded to strike a rock so that the people of God could have water to drink - Ex. 17.
The people of Israel were commanded to look at a snake on a pole to be healed of snakebite - Num. 21.
Isaiah was commanded to walk around naked as an object lesson to the king of Israel - Isa. 20.
None of those things make sense to us, but they were all the will of God. So it is with us, the Lord’s will does not always make sense to our minds, but the secret to contentment in the service of the Lord is absolute obedience, even when we do not understand what He is up to. The fact is, we will never understand the Lord or His ways, Isa. 55:8-9. Our duty is to trust Him in spite of what we do not know, or what we cannot see!. On last Sunday at Shiloh in Trenton, Dr Cleophus Larue brought us a message that God sees things differently. How true that is!
The GOOD NEWS IS THAT NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD!!
III. 32:26-33:3 JEREMIAH’S COMFORT
The Lord speaks to Jeremiah to bring him comfort in the hour of his crisis. What God says to Jeremiah in these verses surely comforted his heart. These words can also comfort ours. 32:26-35 He Was Comforted By God’s Power - God tells Jeremiah that He will indeed bring judgment upon the people of Israel because of their sins. Everything He has promised to do, He is able to bring to pass. God reminds Jeremiah that He is “the God of all flesh,” v. 27. God will judge Israel, and He will use the lost pagans of Babylon to do it. Go declares His power by asking Jeremiah a very simple, straightforward question: “Is anything too hard for the Lord.” The word “hard” means “to be beyond one’s power; to be difficult to do.” God is simply saying that nothing is beyond His power and that nothing is too difficult for Him to do. May that truth encourage us today. God is still the God Who possesses “all power in Heaven and in earth,” Matt. 28:18. He is still the God “who is able to exceeding, abundantly above all that we can ask or think,” Eph. 3:20. He is still the God Who “works all things after the counsel of His Own will,” Eph. 1:11. He is still God and that should comfort our hearts today. 32:36-44 He Was Comforted By God’s Promises - God tells Jeremiah that the people of Israel will fall and they will go away into Babylonian captivity. He also tells the prophets that He will bring them home again. He will gather them to Himself and they will serve Him. He will be their God and they will be His people. In other words, the judgment they face will serve to purify them and they will return to Him, and to the place of His blessing. So it is with us. The Lord uses the crisis in our lives to mold us, grow us and develop us. He uses pain, hardship, suffering and the trials of life to make us more like Jesus, Rom. 8:28-29. He is The God Of The Impossible. He can take that situation you see as being so impossible and He can transform it into a time of blessing for you and glory for Him. Let the comfort of God’s promises give you peace and encouragement regardless of what you face in this life. He will stand them all, and not a single one will ever fail.
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name,” Psa. 138:2.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled,” Matt. 5:18.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” Matt. 24:35.
33:1-3 He Was Comforted By God Proclamation - The very God Who made the world and all that is within it, come to the prophet in his prison and makes one of the greatest prayer promises in the Bible. He is promised that if he will call on the Lord, the Lord will hear him and He will answer him. Think about where Jeremiah is when this promise is made. He is in prison. He is living in the middle of a wicked people. He is living in a nation that is experiencing the awful judgment of Almighty God. Yet, the Lord wants Jeremiah to know that God cares about Jeremiah and about what the prophet is facing in his life. What a comfort! It does not matter where you are today, He will hear you too. It does not matter what you are up against He will hear you. Not only will He hear you, He will answer your prayers as well. he may not answer them the way you want Him to all the time, but He will always answer them correctly and in a way that brings glory to His name.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matt 7:7-11
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him,” 1 John 5:14-15.
Just remember in the midst of it all it’s a blessing. Think about the lyrics from this song. Just being alive in the eyes of Jesus is a blessing for you and me. Just being alive in the eyes of Jesus. I’m grateful, he takes care of me. Through my joy and my pain I’m the center of his will. In the midst of it all it’s a blessing. I know for myself that he loves me, When trials come they only make me strong. He protects me. In the midst of it all it’s a blessing. Through sunshine and rain it’s a blessing, Through sickness and pain, it’s a blessing. Just to be in your holy will it’s a blessing. In the midst of it all it’s a blessing. Be blessed! Be Prayerful Be Safe! Continue to hold to God’s Unchanging Hands! 1Peter 5:7 Casting all your care on him for he careth for you. Nothing is too hard for God!