“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
God spoke these words to Jeremiah commissioning him to the high calling of the nation’s prophet. He would become known as “the weeping prophet” as he, through fits of tears, called for a nation to return to the Lord and abandon their God-forsaken ways. Unfortunately, to a large extent, his call to obedience fell on deaf ears and Jerusalem became subject to famine and sword because they did not heed God’s warning.
So was Jeremiah’s work a failure? Was his life a waste? In man’s measurements, I would certainly say yes. However, God does not use man’s ways to evaluate the fruit produced by him. There is no doubt that well before Jeremiah took his first breath on earth he was called to be a prophet. He was called to be God’s spokesperson, an unbelievable privilege and burden, “…his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9b). If God said shout, Jeremiah shouted. If He said jump, Jeremiah said how high. And If his obedience to God cost him his friends, family, sentenced him to jail time, left for dead in a muddy giant cistern, Jeremiah would be obedient to his dying breath. So lets re-evaluate. Did Jeremiah fail? Absolutely not. Ultimately Jeremiah was responsible only for what God had called him to be. The outcome after Jeremiah spoke (for decades mind you) was between each individual and the Lord.
Don’t waste worried thoughts on the things that are truly out of your control. Beyond the power of prayer and your own obedience to the direction of the Holy Spirit, life is ultimately out of your control. To some that thought will bring much fear, and to others it brings great comfort. Which side of the spectrum you find yourself on likely rests in your view of God’s sovereignty.