Jeremiah was a man called to speak on behalf of God. His message of wrath & judgment was hardly popular with his audience in the southern kingdom of Judah. In fact, Jeremiah was ridiculed and reviled for his proclamation of doom & gloom. People mocked him; people put him down. In Jeremiah 20, the prophet cries out in despair to God. “Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. (Jer. 20:8)” Jeremiah contemplates muting his God-given message in verse 9: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”
When the Word of God enters our hearts, we feel what Jeremiah felt: a burning desire to share that Living Word with others. Our hearts are set ablaze with an all-consuming passion to tell others about the grace & mercy we’ve encountered in Christ Jesus. Indeed, His Word is in my heart like a fire! What an awesome experience to encounter God so deeply and so profoundly that we literally cannot hold back! We’re compelled to tell others of what God has done in our lives, regardless of the results. What a beautiful moment, when consequences become inconsequential!
May Jeremiah’s burden be ours as well. And may the Word of the Lord dwell like fire within our hearts.