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For since I spoke, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Jeremiah 20:8-9


In the world, success often is measured by accomplishments and popularity. Believers can find themselves following the same patterns, striving for achievement and equating popularity with success – or the lack of popularity with failure.

In his own way, Jeremiah certainly wanted acceptance. Instead, he frequently was criticized and rejected. When faithfully obeying God, he was accused of acting on his own initiative, being manipulative, and speaking without authority. This was a continual pattern, occurring “all day long.”

We can imagine how much this frustrated him. He knew he was obeying God. Yet people consistently attacked him. Discouraged, Jeremiah tried to escape his God-given mission. He thought of trying to forget about God or stop speaking His words.

But he found it impossible to ignore his assignment. God’s words felt “like a burning fire shut up in [his] bones.” He couldn’t hold them in. He knew God had called him. He felt compelled to continue serving God regardless of how others reacted.

Jeremiah discovered that obeying God does not guarantee popularity. But it does guarantee that He will be pleased, and we will experience His blessings, both in this life and the life to come.

Commit your life to serving God. Be sure He is pleased with your choices. You can be confident He will bless you for your faithfulness. Focus on His assignment for you. God can use you to impact others with the Gospel.


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