God’s Solution for Insecurity
by Jacob Hudgins
God calls Jeremiah to speak for him: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations”(Jer 1:5).
Yet Jeremiah is reluctant: “Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth’”(Jer 1:6). He is insecure. He feels ill-equipped. The task appears to great for him. Yet how God reasons with him teaches us God’s solution for insecurity.
What God calls us to do we are capable of doing. “But the LORD God said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak’”(Jer 1:7). God reassures Jeremiah that his youth does not prevent him from going and speaking. Often we feel that we are not capable, yet God does not call us to do things that are beyond the scope of what is possible. But there is a catch.
What God calls us to do he will be present to help perform. “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD”(Jer 1:8). Although he says it is his youth and lack of speaking skills, Jeremiah’s reluctance is actually born of fear. God reassures him that though this task seems too much for him, he will be with Jeremiah. Moses has a similar insecurity (among others) when God calls him to deliver the people from Egypt: “But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you…’”(Ex 3:11-12). Gideon is similarly insecure, yet he is greeted by an angel declaring, “The LORD is with you”(Judg 6:12). Jesus reassures Paul when he is afraid in Corinth to keep preaching “for I am with you”(Acts 18:10). Over and over again, God resolves insecurity by promising his presence. God will not leave us, so we know that we are always able to do his will.
What God calls us to do he empowers us to do. “Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant’”(Jer 1:9-10). There is something staggering about the fact that God empowers a mere man in this way—setting him over nations and kingdoms. Jeremiah will have unique information from God and a special role. All of this is God’s doing. We can take confidence from stories like Jeremiah’s—not that we are sufficient in ourselves, but that God empowers those he calls.
So what about us? What does God call us to do? God calls us to obedience through Scripture. Sometimes God gives us special talents and opportunities and calls us to use them for him. Always we must interpret and apply God’s will to the unique situations of our own lives. Yet at times we are left overwhelmed by the magnitude of what God expects from us. We feel well aware of our shortcomings. God reassures us—we are capable because he will be with us and empower us to do his will.