A Fire in My Bones
“For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the Word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of Him nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jer. 20:8-9).
To all who sought to preach and teach the Word of God, there came times when the words of Jeremiah came home with telling force.We too, feel like quitting; feel that our labours are in vain, when the world turns away from hearing the Word of God, often with derision and contempt.Sometimes even the brethren do not seem to give heed to what we have to say to the extent we feel our efforts deserve.
Even the apostle Paul had moments of weakness when he felt that much of his labour was in vain, but he could not hesitate or slacken his efforts, as he said; “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of, for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16).
The test of a faithful preacher of the Gospel comes not when success appears to crown his every effort, but the test of a true soldier of Christ is when apparent failure marks all his efforts. It is then that it becomes clear whether the Truth is “like a burning fire in his bones,” or whether it is halfhearted interest which can only be kept alive under considerable encouragement; whether he feels that it is a choice to work or desist, or whether he feels the “necessity” of working all the harder.
A valiant soldier of Christ will, as any other good soldier, fight all the harder in defeat, and seek to train himself so that he can perform his work better and with more success.