A Life of Significance
Written by Donna on 02 December 2012.

I have oftentimes thought of the prophet Jeremiah -- how, in the face of rejection and threats to his life, he remained faithful to speak the words given to him by God Almighty. As the son of a priest, Jeremiah was in line to be a priest. But before he could officially be installed as a priest, his call pulled him in a direction that became quite painful and turbulent for him.

I often have wondered what made him continue to be obedient, in the face of all the suffering he endured. His commitment to God superceded everything that young men his age held dear: friends, family, fun, fame, respect, support. You name it. Surely being confined to cisterns, caged, being placed in stocks to be exposed to the heat of the day, and ridicule could have deterred many from speaking forth what the Lord had commanded. And even when Jeremiah vowed to keep his mouth closed, he couldn’t, and testified that the Word of the Lord was like fire shut up in his bones.

Jer. 20:9 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.

I have repented on numerous occasions for not behaving as Jeremiah did – going forth no matter what. Oh, open rebellion has not been the method of my sin of disobedience. The infraction comes more in the form of complaining, lamenting, throwing up my hands and giving in to momentary indulgences of “I’m tired” or “This can wait” or “Surely I can treat myself to this special time or treat.” Perhaps I am not alone.

How great His patience has been with me! How grand His love. He knows I am clay. However, I often wonder how men like Jeremiah, and Paul, and Peter, made it through when seemingly, the most simple disappointments throw my diligence into a tailspin. Truly Jeremiah, Paul and Peter are not the only ones who remained diligent to their assignments from God. And those have been my examples.

And Jesus Christ, of course, is the ultimate example. Yet I still marvel at their obedience, self-denial, and faithfulness to carry out the plan God has for their lives. However, there is another whom I think my situation resembles a lot – King David.

Psalm 69:3 “I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God…
Psalm 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
Psalm 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

And even the Lord Jesus Himself prayed that if there was any other way for the will of the Father to be fulfilled, that He might be spared His predestined fate of the cross. Yet He found the strength and resolve to accept the Father’s will for a life of eternal significance. And so did the others.

It is apparent to me that only the Lord Jesus fully understood the significance of His sacrifice. David, Peter, Jeremiah, Paul – and none of the others that may come to mind – knew what the result of their obedience would be.

So I rely on Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” And though it may sound like a pat answer, it is the answer nonetheless, to keep us encouraged enough to persevere. Truly, in comparison to those I’ve mentioned already, and countless others in the pages of the Bible, my troubles and trials may pale in comparison to theirs.

But each has his own cross to bear. For some, it is isolation and loneliness. For some, it is ridicule and abandonment. For some, it is derision and hatred without cause. For some, it is mockery. For some, it is torture and death.

It is a life of sacrifice that leads to a life of significance. And only time and eternity will tell if the sacrifice was made, and God glorified through it.

Lord, help me to focus on eternity. Help me to focus on the things that really matter in light of an eternal destiny. And be glorified in all that I do. For truly, Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.