Summary: A look at why we get tired of serving God and His reactions to the "pity parties" that we throw ourselves.
[This is a long outline with a lot of points and is therefore probably more suited to a Wednesday evening study.]
"I DON'T WANNA!": There are times in the Christian journey when we get tired of serving the Lord and we throw a pity party.
- We whine and complain and fuss and pout and gripe.
- Look at how big an overreaction vv. 14-18 are. You would have been better off if you’d never been born? Really?
- But we throw ourselves pity parties over things much less substantial that what Jeremiah was going through.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS WE "DON'T WANNA" ANYMORE?
1. “This isn’t what I signed up for.”
- Cf. NT passages:
a. Deny self.
b. Carry cross.
- Luke 14:27.
c. Do work of an evangelist.
d. Count the cost.
- Luke 14:28.
2. “I’m tired of being rejected by people.”
- When we are bold in our faith, we get tired of people rejecting us. When we try to stand for Christ, we get tired of people pushing back against that.
3. Things are getting hard.
4. We got into it for the benefits, not the sacrifices.
5. We just get tired.
6. We’re not getting enough and feel like we’re carrying an unfair load.
7. We don’t feel appreciated.
8. Our church is going down and we get discouraged.
9. Few signs of progress.
10. We’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and are feeling burned out.
11. We suffer personal attacks.
12. We’ve hit a really hard stretch.
A WARNING SIGN: It’s a danger sign when our primary emotion toward God is resentment.
- Isn’t it weird that vv. 11-13 paint a picture of faithful belief in the Lord and trust in His hand, only to be following by vv. 14-18 describing someone who is willing to give up and resents having even been brought into this world by the Lord?
- Yes, it is weird. But it also reflects real life.
- I have experienced it myself where everything is wonderful and God is blessing only to find myself totally disheartened and discouraged only a couple hours later. For instance, as a pastor, I have been in great Sunday morning services where the Spirit moved and lives were touched so that I walked out of there full to overflowing. Then back in the office that afternoon, I’ll get word of a complaint that someone has about how things are going in the church and suddenly feel disheartened about us becoming what God wants us to be. It can happen in a matter of hours.
- Of course, another factor here is we don’t know the length of time between when these verses were written. There may have been a little time happening between when they were penned.
- When resentment becomes the primary emotion that we’re feeling toward God, we’re in trouble.
- This is not something that’s extremely rare. We read at various points in the Bible when God’s messenger resented having to continue to do the thankless job that he was assigned. Further, we read of times when depression or weariness caused a follower of God to want to quit. There are other times when we had expectations of the way that God was going to answer our prayers and His failure to answer the way we wanted makes us mad.
- Sometimes preachers make it sound like the Christian journey is going to be victory after victory, joy after joy. It’s not. There are challenges and difficulties that we struggle with.
WHY WON'T HE JUST LET ME QUIT? The Lord won’t let a genuine believer walk away because He wants what’s best for His child.
- There is a desire within our hearts that we can’t get past. As v. 9 says, there can be a fire within us that we can’t avoid.
- Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 9:16.
- Philippians 1:6 says that Christ will complete the work He began in me.
- In Hebrews 12:4-11, we read about the discipline that God brings upon a true child of God.
- Why does God do this? Because it’s in the best interest of the child – in terms of living a life that matters and as well as glorifying the Savior – to complete the race. It’s not only in God’s best interest – it’s in our’s as well. The commitment we made when we began was to finish what we started. God intends to finish what He began.
- Pity parties are likely, in part because we’ve signed up for something that we’re not in charge of.