Church of the Abiding Savior, Lutheran

1625 S. Alston Avenue Durham NC

Jeremiah 17:5-8

5Thus says the Lord:
 Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
  and make mere flesh their strength,
  whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
6They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
  and shall not see when relief comes.
 They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
  in an uninhabited salt land.

7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
  whose trust is the Lord.
8They shall be like a tree planted by water,
  sending out its roots by the stream.
 It shall not fear when heat comes,
  and its leaves shall stay green;
 in the year of drought it is not anxious,
  and it does not cease to bear fruit.

A devotional by Larry Broding, from

“In the midst of his prophecy, Jeremiah compared the good and evil persons with a analogy from the plant world. The evil person was like the desert plant that knew no season, who only knew harsh conditions. [5-6] Why was this person cursed to unchanging barrenness? Notice who the person trusted, his friends and his own self (“flesh” of v. 5). This person depended on his/her looks, intelligence, or personality to persuade; he/she used wealth or friendships to promote his/her position. The person who depended only on the self and his/her friends did not see the greater picture and did not experience the greatness of God. Because of blind selfishness, the evil person did not grow emotionally or spiritually; he/she would never know joy.

“The good person did grow because he/she trusted in God. The trust of a good person went beyond looks or intelligence or personality or friends. When those qualities failed (the “heat” and “drought” of v. 6-7), a spiritual life would keep the good person enriched and productive. The good person would spiritually mature and would know joy.

“All assets are liabilities; all liabilities are assets.” Our talents can be our burdens; our burdens can be turned into talents. To see this paradox requires faith, firm trust in God.”

What are your burdens and your talents? How can they give God glory?