Yes or No. It has to be one or the other. No one can ever say “yes” and “no” to the same question. That thought came to me this week as I was reading in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. In the first chapter, its’ recorded that God spoke to Jeremiah in verse 5. He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” We are informed in this verse that God had plans for Jeremiah even before he was born! Amazing!
Guess what else this verse reveals? It gives us an obvious conclusion that, if God knew His own plans for Jeremiah, then naturally, He knows His own plans for you and me, too. We also know, because Scripture tells us so, that God’s plans are for our good. Look at what He said to Jeremiah in 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Does that mean an easy road to travel? No, it means the best road to make us strong — strong to face anything and get through it!
Jeremiah was a bit scared when he understood the plan that God Almighty had for him. He felt inadequate. Do you ever feel inadequate? He felt nervous about the task. Do you ever feel nervous about some task? What did God say to Jeremiah in response to his fears? In verse 8, He says, “Don’t be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you.” Jeremiah’s task was to speak God’s word to the people but he was afraid of their faces. What would the people think or do to him?
Our fears are no different today. Perhaps we know God is leading us in a particular direction or perhaps He is keeping us in an uncomfortable situation and we want out. “Is this my future?” we moan inwardly? “This difficult road I’m on; is it to be forever?” “What will people think of me?” It’s so easy and understandable that we focus on our immediate surroundings rather than on the promises of God for our future. Even so, we are always given freedom of choice. We may say, “Yes,” to what He allows in our lives, or we may say, “No.”
Let’s keep in mind something else that our Father said to Jeremiah in 29:12-13; His words are for us, too. “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” We can say, “Yes, God, I believe You,” or we can say, “No, God, I don’t believe You.” It’s one or the other, but we can’t say both.
It’s okay to be scared and still choose to believe. It’s okay to doubt that brighter days will come and still choose to believe. It’s okay to come before our Father in fear and trembling. The key is — always come; always say, “Yes, Father.” Our Father will unfailingly give you everything you need to get through anything, no matter the pain, tears, and fears. It may be raining on you today but the sun always shines after every storm.