Reading: Lamentations 3:22-29
Jeremiah is writing about the Israelites. They have been carried away into captivity and slavery. Jeremiah hopes that during this hard time, they will turn back to God and increase their faith. It is a time of sorrow, but it can also be a time of great learning.
At the time that I wrote this study, I had a little baby only a few months old. She depended on others for everything she needed. But I knew that pretty soon she would try to do more for herself. She would try to walk and talk.
But how does a baby learn how to do these things? Does a baby just stand up one day and walk? Does a baby just open her mouth one day and talk?
There are many things that we can only learn by practice and trial. What is something you can do very well? Is this something that you were able to just pick up right away and do expertly from the beginning? Who helped you learn this thing? When you have tried and worked hard at something, and then experienced success, are you not very happy and proud of your accomplishment? Do you not appreciate how others have helped you reach your goal?
Faith is that way also! It isn’t something that is built overnight. It requires a lifetime of work and care, prayer and study. Jeremiah says that it is good for young people to bear these burdens. Why is it good? Because then they can learn to hope in the Lord. They can learn to have a strong faith that will sustain them throughout their lives. Perhaps when they are old and gray, they can look back on their days and say to the Lord, “Great is thy faithfulness!” That is something God wants for all of His children. That is why it is so wonderful that you’re studying His Word now, while you are young. It gives great joy to Him and those around you to see your growing faith!
For Further Study:
- The apostle Paul was one of the most faithful men who ever lived. And yet, he also had to work hard at his faith every day, just like us. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. What kind of attitude did Paul have about building his faith? Read Philippians 3:8-14. What did Paul think about so that he could stay faithful?
- The years of your youth are a wonderful time to learn how to serve God. While you have the energy and time, you can” bear the yoke” of learning so many useful skills for the Lord.
Think about the ways that people in your congregation serve the Lord. Some of them preach and teach. Some of them lead songs and prayers. Some of them care for the sick & elderly. Some of them help clean and maintain the building. Some of them are good at hospitality. Some of them support and encourage preachers in other lands. There are so many things to do! What would you like to learn to do? What plan can you make for learning these things?