In Jeremiah 29 we read of the letter to the captives in Babylon.
29:4-7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
God caused His people to be taken captive, as we read in verse 4. Taken from Jerusalem they were also removed from their places of worship, their way of life. And they mourned.
In Psalms 137 we read: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
They found themselves surrounded by people who worshiped many gods, people who knew nothing of their traditions, people who wanted to be entertained by the songs of the heart of Jerusalem.
Psalms 137:4 says: How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
Sometimes, in our walk with God, we find ourselves surrounded by circumstances. Through seemingly no fault of our own we wake up in what seems to be a strange land, in the very midst of our own captivity.
Our instinct at that time can be to withdraw, retreat into the safety and solace of our own pity filled thoughts, as we long for what we no longer have.
God certainly does not want us to forget who we are, yet in the days of captivity, He implores us to live.
It is during these times that we build our own empire of faith as we wait for our deliverance. We should continue to live, continue to love, continue to sing the songs of Zion! We should still rejoice, still praise, still worship, because He is STILL able, still there, still listening, still answering!
Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
He already knows the answer, already has the plans for your release, already is listening for your call, already waiting to respond.
It may seem that you are living in the land of the lost, serving out your captivity, praying for your freedom. Those darkest days can be used to grow your faith to higher magnitudes than you ever imagined. And through your trial you can gain riches beyond measure, strength beyond reason, and peace.
Yes, even surrounded by those who would have you to fail, you can have peace.
In spite of the oppositions you face, live.
In spite of those that would see you fail, live.
In spite of the world and all its trapping, live.
In spite of the naysayers, and doubters, live.
In spite of circumstances and sorrow, live.
In spite of the darkness, live.
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Even when it seems all is lost.... LIVE!