Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”
This verse reflects God’s answer to the prophet Jeremiah when he questioned why his life was filled with trails, yet he saw the wicked-minded around him flourish in amazing ways.
Even though this exchange between God and prophet took place several millennia ago; it reveals a timeless reflection that is rooted in every human heart.
Jeremiah’s question to the Lord is often found on the lips of every submitted believer at some point in their faith journey.
I have wondered on many occasions why my attempts to move forward in my faith were often meet with fierce opposition.
I could grasp why that would happen in a secular setting, but deep frustration and discouragement set in when the resistance came as I attempted to advance God’s Kingdom.
My lamenting to God concerning those situations was usually delivered with both questioning and genuine anger.
Often I did not see the purpose in all the distractions that would pop up, and the extra steps that were needed to resolve those issues before I could move forward again.
I was perplexed by the smooth road some were given even though their motives were not Kingdom minded.
Why wouldn’t God want to keep those with pure motives toward Him encouraged and edified by allowing what is pleasing to Him prosper quickly?
Jeremiah felt this frustration in the same manner as we believers feel it as well.
But I just love it when God shows up, answers our questions and leaves us with a sense of peace that only He can deliver.
God did not answer Jeremiah by stating that He was going to make immediate adjustments to injustices.
Further, God did not insist that Jeremiah stay silent and not reveal the issues troubling his heart.
God not only answered Jeremiah, but He also brought forth a truth of His character and gave a glimpse of the depth of love He has for His children.
God’s response was a reminder to Jeremiah that He did see that trials and tribulations the prophet was enduring now. He knew of the wickedness and deception that was plaguing Jeremiah’s situation.
With the response, Jeremiah was reminded that God, the Creator of all, was omnipresent. God saw the faithfulness of Jeremiah in the same way He sees the hearts and desires of those submitted to Him.
Amazingly, God’s response also showed how delighted God was with Jeremiah. God knew Jeremiah to be faithful and true to His Word.
God delights in that faithfulness and, paradoxically, that is what often times brings about difficult circumstances.
I do believe that many of the trails and tribulations that God allows in our lives are because He trusts that we will remain faithful regardless of circumstances. That is not to say we will not question, but He knows we can be trusted to stay the course.
Through His response, God reveals the trials and tribulations that face believers are methods to strengthen and stretch character and faith in order to accomplish feats far greater than can be imagined.
God helps us to stand firm and true in the midst of the raging battles of our physical environment and spiritual realities.
He trains us through injustice so we grow strong in His character.
He trains us through trails so we can stand firm in the midst of chaos.
He trains us through tribulations so we can fight the good fight.
2 Timothy 4:7 reflects the condition of a heart completely submitted to God when the apostle Paul looks back on his ministry to the Lord, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.”
God will not send us out to do His work knowing we are not prepared properly. He loves us too much to do that.
The Lord knows what our future holds as we continue our faith journey. He sees the entire picture and understands what will be needed in order to stand firm in the midst of adversity.
In order to finish the race with God honoring Kingdom results, we must allow God to train us in His ways and acknowledge His sovereignty in all circumstances.
God will teach us how to overcome the footman so we will be strong enough to prevail among the horses.
God will instruct us how to expand faith that is easily accessible in peaceful days into faith that is victorious in seasons of battle.
God desires that we become victorious and prosperous in all areas of life regardless of circumstances.
Allow the Lord to equip you for the ministry He created you for.
Embrace trails in life as God revealing His delight in your faithfulness and trustworthiness.