Dismay: consternation and distress, typically that caused by something unexpected:
Jeremiah 1:13-19 (NKJV)
“And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”
And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”
Then the LORD said to me:
“Out of the north calamity shall break forth
On all the inhabitants of the land.
For behold, I am calling
All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the LORD;
“They shall come and each one set his throne
At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
Against all its walls all around,
And against all the cities of Judah.
I will utter My judgments
Against them concerning all their wickedness,
Because they have forsaken Me,
Burned incense to other gods,
And worshiped the works of their own hands.
“Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
For behold, I have made you this day
A fortified city and an iron pillar,
And bronze walls against the whole land—
Against the kings of Judah,
Against its princes,
Against its priests,
And against the people of the land.
They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.”
Let’s set the context.
The Lord set Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations. It would be through Jeremiah that we would get the 70 Years that Israel would be exiled in Babylon.
The Babylonian captivity is pivotal because it would be during this captivity that Jeremiah’s contemporary, Daniel, would receive the end time prophesy concerning the nation of Israel, and the rest of the world.
2021 has seen more Covid deaths than 2020. Many of you were surprised to see many believers get Covid and leave the scene unexpectedly. So far, we’ve seen a few that were miraculously healed WITHOUT medicine. Yes, God still does miracles. Who are we to tell God that He stopped doing the miraculous?
God doesn’t need your permission to do a miracle.
Then we’ve seen medicine and prayer to God in faith, do a mighty work.
But then, we’ve seen people pass away after using every, if not most medicinal tools and prayer to God in faith. It many of these cases, people are dismayed, disappointed, and upset at their departure because God didn’t heal in this instance.
We call it “a lack of faith on the part of those that prayed in faith.” Or a lack of faith on the person seeking the Lord for healing.
Ecclesiastes 8:7-8 (NKJV)
“For he does not know what will happen;
So who can tell him when it will occur?
No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit,
And no one has power in the day of death.
There is no release from that war,
And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.”
We haven’t accepted the fact that when it’s their time to go, it’s their time.
We try to stop death. Sometimes it’s successful, and other times it’s not.
For instance, when James, the brother of John was beheaded, Herod observed that it pleased the Jews and took Peter too.
The church in Jerusalem began to pray all night for Peter, and the Lord sent an angel to release Peter from prison. The answer to prayer was so shocking that they all though it was Peter’s angel when Peter was knocking on the door.
Nonetheless, Gods answered prayer for Peter.
You have Stephen who preached with power about the history of the Jews. The Jews were so convicted in their hearts that they took Stephen out and stoned Him.
What’s my point?
Death can come for anyone of us at any time. Some will be delivered, others will not.
What tends to happen is that we apply a “one size fits all” approach to everything and then when something happens, when we didn’t get what we’ve expected, we get dismayed.
Something unexpected happens and then we go off of the deep end when we should be saying, Lord, Your will be done.
Agabus was a prophet, and approached Paul. We tend to forget that in Acts chapter 13, Paul was also a prophet and a teacher. Agabus took the belt off of Paul and said to Paul that they will gird you when you get to Jerusalem.
Then those that were with Paul pleaded with Paul not to go, but Paul had already made up his mind to go. Was it the will of God for Paul to go? Was it the will of God to avoid Jerusalem? By this time, the gospel spread throughout Turkey in Asia Minor.
Just as the Lord intended.
Paul also was told by the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus that he would suffer great things for the testimony of Jesus.
Paul also had been taken up to the 3rd heaven and heard inexpressible words.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Paul had a longing to be with the Lord Jesus. After 4 missionary journeys, many beatings, famine, starvation, perils in the sea and perils from his our countrymen, heaven looked good every day for Paul.
We all get shocked and upset when people that are in Christ suddenly and unexpectedly go home to be with the Lord. It’s a human emotion which speaks to the fact that we’re all eternal beings. Departing this life to go to the next in Christ upsets us but if we’re a people of faith in Christ, we shouldn’t be that selfish.
2 Corinthians 5:1-8 (NKJV)
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
We seldom prepare our hearts and minds for a departure because we want God to heal and do miraculous things. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when we fail to see that we’re not prepared for a departure, when it happens, we get upset.
Hebrews 11:35 (NKJV)
“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.“
Sometimes people refuse deliverance.
You mean I can refuse deliverance?
Well, look at this verse of Scripture. It’s speaking of those being tortured for the testimony of Christ. Deliverance could be to run from persecution. Escaping like Paul did when the Jews were after him. He “fast roped” down a wall.
The Lord allows for escaping when persecuted, but what happens when you’re caught?
With sickness and disease, it’s a different ballgame.
We need to be prepared for both. Faith to be healed. And faith to let it go to be with the Lord.
More shocking deaths with occur. People that we’re so used to having around. Whether it’s by sickness and disease, or by a physical attack from persecution.
Of course people will struggle with this. It’s natural. It doesn’t mean that we give in or surrender. We just need to learn how to live prepared for deliverance or no deliverance.
Whichever way it goes.