Living in Captivity
“Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;”
One of the wisest pieces of advice that those who were carried away to Babylon received while they were in captivity can be found in this chapter. Jeremiah told the people in verse 5-6, “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.” What Jeremiah was telling the people was not to let the captivity keep them captive in their spirit, but to live and make the most of the life they had. Jeremiah was trying to get them to look past the captivity to see that they still had life to live and that they could still enjoy the blessings of life if they would just live.
Do you find yourself being held captive by health, family problems, financial hardships, adverse job relationships, poor job situation, dysfunctional home, bad marriage, or some unique difficulty that you are facing? The best advice you can get is the same advice that Jeremiah gave to these people when they were being held captive. You can still enjoy life to its fullest in your captivity if you choose not to let your source of captivity to dictate your joy. Let me give you some advice on what to do when you find yourself being held captive by life’s adverse circumstances.
First, don’t focus on the hardship of the captivity. Jeremiah was telling the people to take their eyes off their hardship and realize they still had life to live. Your captivity may be worse than others, but you still have life. As long as you let your adverse circumstance to keep you captive, you are missing the blessings in life that God has for you.
Second, make the best out of your captivity. Jeremiah told these people to go ahead and build houses, plant gardens, get married, and have children. He was telling them not to allow their captivity to keep them from enjoying the life they still had. I remember a lady years ago who had cancer declare her choice by saying, “I am going to live until I die.” My friend, you must choose to live until you are out of your captivity. No matter what is holding you captive, you still have life. You are going to have to find the life you have and enjoy it. Never allow the trials of life to take away the joy and life that you still have to live. Make the best of what you do have by living life and serving God.
Third, make peace with your captivity. Verse 7 says, “…pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” The worst thing to do is to fight what is reality. You will find it much easier to live life when you come to peace with what you have instead of getting bitter over it. Don’t allow your captivity to make you bitter. What you don’t realize is that if you come to peace with your captivity that you can be a great help to many others who live in the same captivity.
What are you going to do with your captivity? Let me encourage you to live life to its fullest while you are in captivity. God’s blessings can still be realized in captivity if you live life and make peace with your captivity.