I love the pictures that God paints in the Bible. When I think about our life with Christ, a favorite picture is the one God gives us in Jeremiah 17: the beautiful picture of a tree planted by streams of water. Why are we talking about trees? Well, we really aren’t talking about trees — we’re talking about faith! In particular, we’re talking about faith that is strong, healthy and fruitful. We all want that kind of faith for ourselves and for others, don’t we? I know I do.
What we don’t always want, however, are the means by which such a faith grows. Strong, healthy, fruitful faith grows during storms. That kind of faith grows during difficulties and times of doubt. Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet through whom God gives us this picture of vibrant faith, knew difficulty all too well. He served the Lord for more than 50 years, and his messages were not well received.
The life of Jeremiah was one of sorrow upon sorrow. No one listened to his message. People rejected him and the God they could not see. But that only makes me admire Jeremiah’s strong faith all the more. He believed God even during the storms of his life because his roots of trust were deep in the Lord. Trusting in the Lord year after year through those storms gave Jeremiah the deep roots of his faith.
When I meet with the women our programs reach each week around the world and with the teams that produce Women of Hope, I feel the same kind of admiration. Their lives are not easy. Many of their cultures ridicule not only their faith but also the fact that they were born female. But for these women, I see the storms of life making their roots of trust grow deep in the Lord. For those who don’t yet know there is one in whom they can trust, my heart aches. I’m so grateful for all that our teams are doing to reach them with the message of God’s hope.
Have you let the storms of your life dig your faith deeper into Jesus? When we do trust him, God calls us to share the hope he gives us. Like Jeremiah, we may think we are too young or too old or too much of something else that we think disqualifies us from reaching out to others. Do you have such a message of hope and a willingness to share it with those facing life’s storms? I know that I do!
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – JEREMIAH 17:7-8