budJeremiah 42:10 ‘Stay here in this land. If you do, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you. For I am sorry about all the punishment I have had to bring upon you.

It’s amazing when people ask you to pray for them but when God gives the answer they do the opposite. It’s so much easier to vacate a place when you are struggling than it is to wait around to see if God is going to do what he said he would do. Whether it’s a struggling marriage, a faltering business, or a troubled church, sometimes it seems easier just to leave and start over. But if God told you to stay it will be worse wherever you go.

The exiles in Judah were few in number. Their resources were running out. They told Jeremiah to pray for them. It took God ten days to respond. He told Jeremiah to tell them to stay in the land of Judah; the place where they were struggling and he would do the following:

  1. I will build you up and not tear you down. The town had been devastated since the Babylonians had taken away all the talented people and destroyed important institutions. God said he was going to rebuild. It’s so tempting to move to other communities and cities when you’re community changes for the worse. But could it be that God wants you to stay to rebuild? Could you be the remnant that God wants to use to rebuild your church, community, or city? Maybe you’re the bigger one in the marriage to pray for your spouse. Maybe you’re the one to step up and give leadership.
  2. I will plant you and not uproot you. God wants to give you sustainability. The only way you can grow is to be still. Every time you uproot a plant you run the risk of sending the plant into shock. God wants to build some consistency into your life so that you can be productive and fruitful. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. It’s greener where you decide to nurture and water it.
  3. If you go to Egypt you will die. It’s tempting to go back to where things used to work but that season has passed. Judah, which means praise, was the city that the exiles were in. It didn’t look like much because of God’s punishment. But if we stay in Praise God will remove his punishment and make his provision plentiful! God says, “I’m sorry I had to punish you. But if you stay here I’m going to repurpose you!”

This message is for somebody who was getting ready to go back to Egypt because you were tired of struggling. God says, “Be Still! I’m going to bless you even though they left! Don’t go back to an old place when I’m doing a new thing. Stay in Praise and watch me Provide!”

Dear God,

Help me stay in my place of praise and anticipate my provision. This is where you called me to be! It may look like everybody good left but you are sending somebody better to take their place. You had to take out disobedient people to replace them with productive people. My punishment has ended and my replenishment has begun bi will not look back. I’m going forward!

 

In Jesus Name,

Amen