JEREMIAH 29:11: “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Are the Lord’s plans for my life really good? Is my future really going to be filled with peace and hope? These were the questions that were no doubt in the minds and hearts of those who heard Jeremiah speak these words. To understand this better, we need to put this promise into context.
Jeremiah was speaking to those who had been captured by the king of Babylon and taken from Jerusalem as captives. They were in a foreign land, displaced from their jobs, homes, and families. They could no longer go to the Temple to worship, and they longed for deliverance. Yet, Jeremiah did not bring them a message of deliverance. Jeremiah brought them a message to be content, to settle down where they now found themselves, and to patiently wait for 70 years for the Lord’s deliverance!
- “This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says to all those who were taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses, and live in them. Plant gardens, and eat what they produce. Get married, and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons, and let your daughters get married so that they can have sons and daughters. Grow in number there; don’t decrease. Work for the good of the city where I’ve taken you as captives, and pray to the LORD for that city. When it prospers, you will also prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7 GW)
This is not what they wanted to hear. How could this be a plan for good and not for evil? How could this bring them peace and a future filled with hope?
Many years ago I was frustrated with my job. I desperately wanted to find a different one. I put my resume together and embarked on a new job search. Every door I knocked on was closed. I had professionals review my resume to see if I was missing something. I received glowing reviews on my resume, but it did not result in any job leads. The couple of interviews I eventually went on resulted in closed doors. Frustrated, I felt like the Lord had abandoned me. Where was His promise of a future and a hope for my life?
Fast forward several years later. After the Lord began to deal with my attitude, He called me to stay where I was and do my best job with a changed heart and attitude. I endeavored to do this, and began to enjoy my work once again. Both the company and I began to prosper. And then, when the Lord called me back into pastoral ministry, the company I wanted to leave, was the company that graciously allowed me to adjust my schedule to work as a consultant while I pastored the church I am now at. No other corporation or company I know of would have supported me in the way this company did. The Lord was truly looking out for me – to give me a future and a hope!
The Israelites in Babylon thought the Lord had forgotten them. Yet, in reality He had preserved their lives and was preparing them for their future restoration. He would once again restore a faithful remnant to Jerusalem. He would bring them peace and a future filled with hope! This promise is not a promise of escape, but a call to endurance. When the doors we are knocking on do not open, we need to learn to wait patiently on the Lord. We need to learn to trust His sovereignty in life, and His promise to care for us. He will not leave us nor forsake us! When we surrender to Him in faith and trust something wonderful happens.
- “Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, I will let you find me, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I’ve scattered you, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14 GW)
Lord, give me grace to trust Your plan for my life! Help me to wait upon You, and to walk in the full assurance of faith. Undergird me with Your peace, and hear my prayer. This morning I seek You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love!
In Jesus Name!