GOD'S PHONE NUMBER

Jeremiah 33:1-3 (text v. 3)

    This text is a special blessing to anyone going through affliction.
    Jeremiah is in prison under false charges (Jer. 37:11-15). God visits Jeremiah in his hour of need. This is the second time God visited Jeremiah in prison. During this time, God gives him this great prayer promise. I like to think of Jeremiah 33:3 as God's phone number.
    Have you ever had to DIAL 911? During an emergency you dial 911 and you are instantly connected to a dispatcher. In front of the dispatcher will be a read-out that lists your telephone number, your address, and the name by which that telephone number is listed at that address. Also listening in are the police, the fire department, and the paramedics.
    A caller might not be able to say what the problem is. Or perhaps a woman's husband has just suffered a heart attack, and she is so out of control that all she can do is hysterically scream into the telephone. But the dispatcher doesn't need her to say anything. He knows where the call is coming from. Help is already on the way.
    There are times in our lives when in our desperation and pain we dial Jeremiah 33:3 prayers. Sometimes we're hysterical. Sometimes we don't know the words to speak. But God knows. He knows our name, where we are at and what our circumstance is. Help is on the way; God has already begun to bring the remedy.

I. The PERSON we call --"Call unto me…"  (cf. v. 2).

II. The PROMISE confirmed --"…I will answer thee…" 

ILLUS.--While crossing the Atlantic on an oceanliner, the great preacher F.B. Meyer was asked to deliver a message to the passengers on "Answered Prayer." An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, "What did you think of Dr. Meyer's sermon?" He answered, "I didn't believe a word of it." 
    That afternoon the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket before going for a stroll on the deck. On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep. In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her lap. Later as he passed her way, he saw her happily eating one of the oranges.        "You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile. "Yes, sir," she replied, "My Father gave them to me." "Your father? Surely your father can't be still alive!" "Praise God," she replied, "He is very much alive." "What do you mean?" pressed the agnostic. She explained, "I'll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days. I was asking my heavenly Father to somehow to send me an orange. I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!" The agnostic was speechless. 

III. The PROVISION conferred --"…and shew thee great and mighty things…"  (cf. 32:16-18)

Reader's Digest (7/97 p. 20) gives the following example of an answer to prayer: Late on a black, noiseless night in upstate New York, a young woman decided to take a shortcut home--up a steep, unlit path. Then she heard steps behind her, faster than her own. An instant later a man was upon her, tightening her scarf around her neck and ripping at her pants.
At home the young woman's mother woke from a deep sleep, seized with fear that something terrible was about to happen to her daughter. The mother immediately knelt down beside her bed and prayed. For 15 minutes she begged God to protect her daughter. Convinced she had won God's protection, the mother returned to a sound sleep. Back on the stony path, the would-be rapist suddenly ceased his assault. He cocked his head--almost beast-like--and fled down the hill.
Coincidence? Luck? Or divine intervention? Nearly 20 years later mother and daughter are certain in their belief. That was the devil on the hill, and it was God who sent him away!

IV. The PLENTEOUS climax  "…which thou knowest not." -- Expect the unexpected! God always exceeds our request! 
Vs. 4-5-- Sometimes God must tear down and destroy, before He can heal and rebuild.

CONCLUSION: Sir Walter Raleigh asked a favor from Queen Elizabeth. She answered him, "Raleigh, when will you leave off begging?" He answered, "When your Majesty leaves off giving!"