Good Bad Stuff

Good Bad Stuff

30 August 2020

Jeremiah 20:7–13; Ephesians 1:17–19

Have you ever felt deceived by ? How so?

Depending on the translation, Jeremiah opens today’s verses with deception. פָּתָה, פָּתָה [pathah /paw·thaw/] also means entice, persuade, flatter, allure. The non-deceptive understandings of the better fit ’s charer, though from Jeremiah’s point of view that may merely be semantics.

Jeremiah is driven to deliver ’s s. He says that seized him, and later says that ’s s are like a fire burning in his heart. No matter how much Jeremiah would prefer that he would deliver ’s , he doesn’t seem to be able to help himself.

If there is any sense of deception, it is the common assumption that following ’s s and speaking them means that only good things will occur. Jeremiah’s complaint is that he was and a good steward, and yet nothing good is returned.

The concept of ex (I do something ; does something good) is one of those issues that has long been a problem in the church. Some call it the “health and wealth gospel.” Jeremiah seemed to have some sense of that as well. Jeremiah is and gets the short end of the stick.

Do you think by doing something “good” you earn something from ? If you don’t believe it, do you ever like it’s true? If you do believe it’s true, how do explain the bad?

Being “driven” for would seem to be a good thing. It doesn’t always work that way. There are plenty of people in the world who are , but are endangered (e.g., persecuted Christians) or are not “blessed” by material things or even good health.

The early church wondered these same things, too. Paul’s s about and revelation are not just to the Ephesians, but to all the church. Often it is only through and revelation do we see that the bad can bring glory, and (over the long haul) bring us .

In our culture, we can be blinding be wealth and health , and be unable to the greatest type of blessing…spiritual . Spiritual may be as simple as joy or a deep as peace (that surpasses all understanding).

Think of a difficult time in your life. What was the spiritual result of that difficult time? Can you imagine a similar result through only positive things?

※ Prayer ※

, help us to look for your and revelation rather than our own understanding. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.