Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak,
for I am only a youth." (Jeremiah 1:6 ESV)
God often calls the least likely candidates to do his work, those who feel ill-equipped and inadequate (Exod. 4:10; 1 Cor 15:9). He does so in order to bring himself the greatest amount of glory (1 Cor 1:27-29). This was certainly the case with Jeremiah whom God called to be his prophet. And yet, though God had clearly placed a calling on his life to speak the words of God to the people, Jeremiah lived a difficult life. He served faithfully for more than 40 years (1:2-3), yet his messages from God were not well received. He suffered much persecution and even his hometown plotted to kill him. But despite his faithful ministry to the people, by the end of his life it appears he had only two converts, Baruch, his scribe (32:12; 36:1-4; 45:1-5) and Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch who served the king (38:7-13; 39:15-18). Thus, “success” in ministry is not always a reliable indicator of whether or not one has been called into ministry by God. Instead, the focus should be on staying faithful, not successful.
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