The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Jeremiah enters service as a prophet when the Southern Kingdom of Israel is falling apart due to their sin. The nation is like an out of control teenager. The good news is that God had a plan to bring the nation of Israel to repentance. Repentance is turning away from your sin and turning toward God. The bad news was the painful “tough love” the Lord used to accomplish it.

Jeremiah 1: 13 Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah again and asked, “What do you see now?” And I replied, “I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.” 14 “Yes,” the Lord said, “for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. 15 Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken! “They will set their thrones at the gates of the city. They will attack its walls and all the other towns of Judah. 16 I will pronounce judgment on my people for all their evil—for deserting me and burning incense to other gods. Yes, they worship idols made with their own hands! [1]

The northern nation who would attack Jerusalem was Babylon and the Lord would use them to discipline His rebellious children. Does the Lord still use tough love today? Yes, God does not change.

During my life I have had two close friends who experienced God’s tough love. Both were rebellious and not walking with God. Through tough love, God drew them to faith and set them on a new path. Their lives were forever changed. Relationships were healed and the priorities were corrected. If they could tell their testimony, they would say God’s tough love was the best thing that ever happened. Even though difficult, they would say in His mercy, God reached down when they were on the path to hell and rescued them.

Although you may not have experience tough love to that degree, each of us has experienced a time of discipline and we are better off for it. Proverbs 3:12 –For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. [2]

What does tough love and or discipline tell us about God?

  • The Lord is more interested in our salvation and growth in faith than our personal comfort.
  • The Lord disciplines us because He loves us, and sometimes discipline is the only way to correct our wayward path.
  • Tough love allows us to come to the end of ourselves and begin to look up to God.
  • Tough love breaks through our calloused lives, so we are more sensitive to the Lord.
  • Tough love is God’s last resort because we have failed to heed His warnings.
  • Only in retrospect are we thankful for God’s tough love.
  • Tough love leads us down the path of humility where God can get through to us.

To hear about God’s tough love in Jeremiah’s time, listen here:

[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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