for men, it doesn’t continually come clearly to admit weakness or harm. many of us attempt to keep away from the sort of fragility that faints in each day of adversity (proverbs 24:10).
that made it the greater hard, some time again, to share that i felt spiritually exhausted. i wished a spoil. i felt, with bilbo Baggins, like “butter scraped over an excessive amount of bread.” my power waned, my spirit slouched, and i stuck myself regularly staring out at nothing mainly. “have mercy on me, o lord,” i sighed as sleep could overcome me.
i confessed my staleness to my spouse and a few guys. many type words of encouragement were given. helpfully, they reminded me that, because of the resurrection of jesus christ, i ought to preserve steadfast, immovable, constantly abounding within the work of the lord, understanding that my work my became no longer in vain (1 corinthians 15:fifty eight). this helped. but god decided to add a missing aspect, words he first spoke to some other fatigued man.
“be about your grasp’s commercial enterprise. his on my own is a motive worth of your lifestyles.”
baruch, jeremiah’s scribe, were saying, “woe is me! for the lord has brought sorrow to my ache. i'm weary with my groaning, and that i discover no relaxation” (jeremiah forty five:3). exactly, i notion. i puzzled how god might consolation this man of god who had persevered many trials for his name. what promise of destiny reward would he provide? his reaction to baruch’s groans struck me useless between the shoulders: “do you are seeking for remarkable matters for yourself? are seeking for them no longer” (jeremiah forty five:5).
most unlikely signal of pleasure
occasionally — not all the time, but now and again — our fatigue as guys comes much less from our superb self-sacrifices and more from our selfish ambition. we should not usually count on, as i had, that we're worn-out and despairing from strolling after the right matters.
definitely, egocentric aspiration is a fave temptation of devil to all and sundry. he who changed into thrown down to the earth along with his hellish delight excites the same sin in both males and females. he instructed adam and eve that they can be like god. however i experience in particular pressured for guys.
God created guys to paintings the floor and preserve it; we're clearly formidable, decided. our blood hastens to search for glory, honor, and immortality — and this can be righteous (romans 2:7). but that equal college, with a exceptional lead to view, leads limitless to destruction: “for individuals who are self-looking for . . . there might be wrath and fury” (romans 2:eight). man, hiking upon the winds of his aspiration, too often stocks the fate of icarus: “who soars too close to the sun, with golden wings, melts them.”
my personal season of fatigue began with hearing that someone whose work i reputable did now not admire mine. beyond this, ministry wasn’t going as planned, and outstanding things had been not going on for me. i imagined that more would be happening with the aid of now, and when my wish was deferred, my coronary heart grew sick.
this tendency in guys makes god’s war of words of baruch so needful for a number of us these days. from his tale we see how satisfaction makes us susceptible, opposes God’s plan, and insists on its own glory instead of god’s.
pride makes us feeble
consequently says the lord, the god of israel, to you, o Baruch: you stated, “woe is me! for the lord has added sorrow to my ache. i am weary with my groaning, and i discover no relaxation.” (jeremiah forty five:2–three)
baruch entered his ministry with excessive expectations. his very call intended “blessed.” he worked next to jeremiah, one of the few real prophets of God in the ones days. a promising start by using all bills.
he wrote down god’s message, and even introduced a sermon on jeremiah’s behalf. how became it obtained? after he added it, he become informed to enter hiding. whilst the king subsequently got his arms on the manuscript, he burned it and sent guys to hunt down Jeremiah — and now Baruch — and convey them in (jeremiah 36:25–26). this become in keeping with the rest of Baruch's ministry.
quickly a few jews categorised him a public enemy of the kingdom, the mastermind at the back of jeremiah’s condemning messages meant to deliver them into the arms of their enemies (jeremiah 43:2–three). he predicted reward and obtained persecution. and this disappointment brought bitterness to his sorrow, weariness to his ache. the weeds of frustrated conceitedness slowly choked his manly fortitude. he began to stoop into self-pity and grumble to the lord because he expected more.
“do you need to make a distinction? are looking for not top-notch matters for your self; seek awesome things for christ.”
with Baruch, our egos subtly, slowly make us brittle. self-importance turns into the small crack in the hull to step by step drag us below. God heard Baruch's prideful whimpering, his mumbled prayers, his sighs, his drooping scribbles. he saw his head shakings, his slowness to upward thrust for the day, his lightening grip on the plough. and in the back of it, he saw his delight, his hopes of grandeur, of recognition, of glory, like a parasite, draining his energy to serve his God with gladness. and he sees ours as properly.
pleasure opposes God’s plan
next, God explains his plan to Baruch, the same plan he advised Jeremiah from the start: “behold, what i've constructed i'm breaking down, and what i have planted i'm plucking up — that is, the complete land” (Jeremiah 45:four; 1:10). their ministry might be certainly one of caution, of breaking down, of judgment. they ministered to rebellious folks that did now not love God. the little shrub of success that Baruch planted and so carefully attended could be swept away with judgment on the people.
but Baruch desired terrific things for the name of Baruch. he desired to be a hero of the humans, no longer hated by the humans. and when God’s plans did not align along with his, he began to pout. he grew tired without the adrenaline of applause. i too started out looking superb matters for my personal call — who turned into so-and-in an effort to not admire my paintings? why wasn’t i receiving the success i deserved? why wasn’t god’s glory (and mine) increasing?
pride insists on its very own glory
after giving every other evaluate of his plan and Baruch's role in it, God stabs at our worn-out and proud hearts with a query: are you woke up to the desire of amassing excellent honour for your self? do you desire, at remaining, to be visible as anyone outstanding? ought to you boom and your god decrease? “do you are trying to find first-rate matters for your self?”
“are searching for them no longer.”
God confronted Baruch and all guys standing in the back of him who're tempted to searching for empty glory: end striving after the exaltation of guys. I've now not called you to be a scribe to scribble noble bills of yourself. prevent groping for camera time. forestall onerous your self on yourself.
“sometimes, our fatigue as men comes much less from our great self-sacrifices and more from our high-quality self-ambition.”
do you need to make a distinction? are seeking no longer top-notch things for yourself; searching for first-rate things for christ. boost the banner: “not to me, no longer to me, however in your call be the consideration!” (psalm one hundred fifteen:1). pray which you may lower and he boom (john three:30). use your ambition to name Jesus in which he has now not been named (romans 15:20). spend your competitive spirit on outdoing one another in displaying honour (romans 12:10). work more difficult than the relaxation (1 corinthians 15:10) that the greatness of your lord might be visible as fantastic (1 peter 2:9). be about your master’s commercial enterprise. his alone is a purpose worthy of your existence.
are looking for his greatness
God referred to as each Jeremiah and Baruch to thankless paintings with stronger phrases than we frequently hear: “however you, get dressed yourself for paintings; rise up, and say to them the whole lot that i command you. do now not be dismayed by them, lest i dismay you earlier than them. . . . they'll fight towards you, but they shall now not be successful in opposition to you, for i'm with you, broadcasts the lord, to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:17, 19).
Bruch's campaign, as with a lot of our campaigns, will now not cease with human reward, however with survival: “i'm able to come up with your lifestyles as a prize of conflict in all places to which you can go” (jeremiah forty five:5). when Baruch noticed himself in a conflict, no longer in a theatre, he have become extra worried for his lifestyles than for his reward.
Jesus recalibrates his men in addition within the new testimony: “do now not rejoice in this, that the spirits are difficulty to you, however, have a good time that your names are written in heaven” (luke 10:20). do no longer relaxation your joy upon career fulfillment, ministry fulfillment, or commendations from guys, but upon the promise that you have everlasting life, that your soul will live on the judgment.
and ought to our ears ring on that day with the heavenly commendation, bellowed by way of our God within the presence of all, we will receive more than the trinkets of human accolades. his “well-executed, right and trustworthy servant” (matthew 25:21) will blow away all human reward and censure as bubbles thrust in opposition to a mountain. his is the greatness we need to searching for — a greatness he's going to, in some real sense, share: “when christ who is your lifestyles seems, you then also will appear with him in glory” (colossians three:four).