Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Highs and Lows of the Christian Life

JEREMIAH 15:16–21 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation.  Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.  Every Christian knows the Christian life is not lived in the constant joy of living on the Mountain of Transfiguration.  Not every day is happy in Jesus.  We go through valleys.  These high and low experiences of the Christian life are captured well by Charles Spurgeon, “Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.”


So was the experience of Jeremiah in today’s scripture. His high and low experiences model for us what the Christian life is all about.  First, the highs. Notice the excitement of the prophet over his personal satisfaction over God’s Word – Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.  But there was more.  He found great delight in God’s favor upon him in a close relationship.  For us? Recall those most precious times of being in our Bibles, sensing the Lord’s Presence, and finding our souls ravished and satisfied by Him.  Those are Mount of Transfiguration moments, but, like Jeremiah, reality of living in a sin-cursed world settles in.  We must come down from the mountain of spiritual experience.


Jeremiah also knows the lows in one’s walk with the Lord.  He feels the Lord now at a distance, not comforting him, and failing to bring healing to his wounded heart. He confesses, “I sat alone.”  We should all be nodding our heads toward Jeremiah with a look that says without words, “I get it Jeremiah. Been there.  Know all too well that sense of spiritual loneliness and abandonment.”  This is the painful part of maturing in the faith. All that Jeremiah laments may feel real, but it wasn’t spiritual reality.  God was near.  Nothing changed, and in this low period, as it was for Jeremiah, it will be for us – a period of the greatest spiritual growth.


Highs and lows of the Christian life; an apt title for the whole of the Christian life. Let’s learn to live both in the power of God’s grace.


PRAYER: “Father, thank You for never changing for I am always changing.”


QUOTE: “Someday we won’t experience an up and down Christian life, but that is not today.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim