10-29-06

Baruch was a friend of the prophet Jeremiah.  Together they had gone through some of the worst times in the history of the nation.  Baruch served as a scribe for Jeremiah.  He even helped preach Jeremiah’s messages in the Temple (Jer. 36) while Jeremiah was in prison.  Along with Jeremiah, Baruch had watched the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem.  We know that the prophet Jeremiah went through times of discouragement, but it seems that Baruch shared those feelings as well (Jer. 45:3).  It was in a time of struggle that God gave Jeremiah a message for his friend:  “And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.” (Jer 45:5 NKJV).
It seems to me that our own desires can be one of the great sources of tension, frustration, and even depression.  When our minds are caught in a loop of wanting the wrong things, the difficult times become even more difficult.  James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1 NKJV)

I wonder how much of my frustration would go away if I replaced the desire to have “great things” for myself with a desire to do great things for God?  Peace comes when I learn to take my eyes off of “me” and put them on “Him”.  Just like in Baruch’s time, life isn’t always easy.  But I can endure tough times when I keep my desires aimed at God instead of me.