A Wonderful Image of the Believer

Posted on June 7, 2019


By David Ettinger

Beautiful Imagery
God’s children – those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior (John 1:12) – are no more immune from the world’s tribulations than unbelievers (John 16:33).

However, what believers have that unbelievers don’t is the blessed assurance that no matter what trials come our way – death included – we have an unshakable promise that no earthly or demonic force can annul.

This truth is beautifully expressed in a passage from “the weeping prophet” Jeremiah in his magnificent book of prophecy. The passage is Jeremiah 17:7-8, and reads:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the 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.”

This is a wonderful image of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s briefly break it down.

A Tree Planted by the Water
In Scripture, trees sometimes symbolize strength and refreshment. We see this in the Garden of Eden and in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Genesis 1:29; Daniel Chapter 4). Trees planted by water are particularly strong as their roots have a constant source of nourishment.

The Christian is like a tree spiritually in that his soul is secure in the promise of eternity God freely offers. However, the Christian’s life here on earth, like the tree, is vulnerable and susceptible to calamity and adversity.

However, just like a firmly rooted tree which can withstand extreme elements, so can believers withstand the fiercest trials “when the heat comes” (v. 8). Because the believer is deeply rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ, she knows she stands on a secure foundation, that her place in eternity is reserved. She knows that though disease, poverty, heartbreak, or wickedness may assault her, there is nothing that can tear her out of God’s hand (John 10:28).

Its Leaves Are Always Green
A tree connected to a constant water source always has green leaves. The Christian connected to the Holy Spirit always has a source of enabling to do that for which the Lord created Him. God has endowed His children with specific gifts, talents, and works He expects them to utilize (Ephesians 2:10).

With such equipping, “… we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 2:15). Our leaves are to be green and never turn brown as we serve both the saved and unsaved, our fragrance a blessing to all we come in contact with.

And even though “the heat comes” in the form of trials, we are to remain green, always seeking to serve our Savior and putting Him first in all things (Matthew 6:33).

It Has No Worries
As trees with green leaves in God’s kingdom, yes, we will have tribulation, but we will have “no worries in a year of drought and never fail to bear fruit.”

That we will have no worries is not to say we are free from challenges; we always have those. But the point here is that God is with us in those challenges. With Him strengthening us – watering us – we can continue to serve Him within our challenges and trials and still be fruitful.

We may lose our jobs – but we can serve our neighbors. We may be sick and stuck at home, but we can pray for all manner of things. We may be in a bad marital situation, but we can keep growing in our relationship with Christ. Though life can hurt us, as trees planted by the water we can always be fruitful in God’s kingdom.

The Bottom Line
This soaring passage from the Book of Jeremiah reminds us of just how much God loves you, cares for you, looks after you, nourishes you, and provides for you. May your leaves always be green!