DEVOTIONAL: Use Persistence

Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up.  – Jeremiah 36:28 (NIV)

Do you ever get discouraged and want to give up? Do you ever give your best, only for others to reject you and throw it back in your face? If so, we can gain encouragement from the life of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 36:2 in the Bible, God wanted to use the prophet Jeremiah to send a warning to the corrupt king. “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now.” (NIV) The prophet immediately obeyed and put his scribe to work. “So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the LORD had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll.” (36:4 NIV) 

Even though God sent a message to the king to repent and avoid destruction for himself and his nation, the warning fell on deaf ears. Verse 24 tells us: “Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.” (NLT) In fact, as the king heard the warning read to him, he took the scroll, took a knife, cut it into pieces, and bit by bit threw it into a fire he was using to warm himself.

At that point, it would have been easy for Jeremiah to feel sorry for himself and give up. However, the prophet was made of tougher stuff. Instead of throwing up his hands and throwing in the towel, Jeremiah again obeyed God, told his scribe to write it again, and he even made it longer the second time. Verse 32 tells us: “So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!”

Leadership expert John Maxwell wrote, “You can easily determine the caliber of a person by what it takes to discourage him or her.” Are you facing opposition or discouragement today? The word for you is: persist!


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