God Makes You New: Be Rooted in Him
If we want to live without fear this year, we need to cultivate roots or foundations that are deep down in God's grace. In today's devotional, we take a look at some incredible verses in Jeremiah about putting our trust in God.
We've been exploring the verses at the start of Hosea 14. We've seen how easy it is to chase shadows in pursuit of worth, and we've discovered that we actually need to seek God to find identity. We've been amazed by God's extravagant love as we find ourselves in him: he clothes us in splendour; we are his handiwork.
Here we'll tie this together by digging into words from Jeremiah.
JEREMIAH 17:7-8: 'BUT BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD, WHOSE CONFIDENCE IS IN HIM. THEY WILL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY WATER THAT SENDS OUT ITS ROOTS BY THE STREAM. IT DOES NOT FEAR WHEN HEAT COMES; ITS LEAVES ARE ALWAYS GREEN. IT HAS NO WORRIES IN A YEAR OF DROUGHT AND NEVER FAILS TO BEAR FRUIT.'
These verses begin with the central issue: trust.
We saw in Hosea 14:1-3 that it is not good to trust the wrong things for security; Jeremiah talks of this in the couple of verses before our passage:
'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.' (Jer17:5) The consequences of this is downfall, parched existence in a 'salt land where no one lives.' It's pretty bleak.
The great gift is that we can choose instead to trust God. When we do this we are blessed, restored. Just as Hosea 14:4-6 draws out this blessing, so does Jeremiah 17:8 through the image of a tree. This tree has plenty of water: its roots run out by the stream and its thirst is sated. It experiences the refreshing flow of God's grace like water. This tree has no 'fear', 'no worries'. Even when the heat is overwhelming, when there's pressure to perform and reason to be scared, it doesn't need to fear. Its roots are deep in God's love. Even when the stream runs dry and the air is dusty, it doesn't need to worry. God's love is unfailing. This tree is evergreen and unfailingly bears fruit. The sustenance it draws up through its deep roots manifests in fruit, good gifts inspired by refreshing water.
Do you see? When our roots or foundations are deep down in God's grace, we are secure and safe and have no need to fear. God brings forth fruit in those rooted in him. The storms of life – heat, drought – can be weathered because we have an imperishable identity in God.
As we conclude this mini-series, have a think about these questions:
1. Is there anything that you trust more than God, or that you hope to find your identity in?
2. What could you do to dig down deep roots in God's love?
Hannah is in her second year of studying Theology at Cambridge and is passionate about seeing girls grow into their God-given identity. She has written a book called God's Daughters, about knowing that you are enough.