But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with its roots reaching deep into the water—a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought. Its leaves stay green, and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8 TLB)
Planting our trust firmly in God allows us to access His hope, and therefore to remain confident. Nothing is worse than being tossed around by worry and fear. How blessed we are to stand firm in our faith and to trust solely in God alone. Besides, we have spent too many years in the “weed patch” of regret, bitterness, and unforgiveness, fraught with creepy, crawly demons who filled us with lies and dominated our existence. Unknown to us, we had the destiny of a Redwood within us. All we had to do was believe.
Once we believed, we began to sprout above the landscape of our circumstances. Fear turned to peace, and bitterness turned to love. Our branches grew strong and our roots began to reach deep into the water. With the Son shining on us, we thrived as we grew from a sapling into a mature tree. Surrounding us were other trees who also thrived in the Forest of God, each radiant with hope and peace. We have repented so often for staying so long on the forest floor, hidden in the dampness of lies and shame. Yet, we hear the Father whisper “No regrets my child. Now you are mine, and I have your heart. Pray for the those in the weed patch below, that they too will believe and trust in Me.”
So, we stand straight and tall. Our hearts only desire is to bring God glory. We understand what’s happening on the forest floor beneath us and we desire to be an example of strong faith to those that will come after us. If they can just see the courage and hope that we have in Christ, then hopefully, one day they too will believe that they can become a mighty tree. Perhaps they will taste the sweet fruit of love that hangs from our branches and hunger to know Him as we do. It’s only by God’s incomparable grace that we may dwell in this forest. Had He not loved us into repentance we would all still be just weeds!
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on Come Apart or Come Apart Part 2 on June 1st, 2019 - Watch Sermon