For the longest time I believed that the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 was all about me. I wanted to believe it was written to me and written for me. And who could blame me:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
What an amazing verse! Especially the prosper part.
It’s true that God cares about every intricate detail in our lives. Jesus said in Luke 12:7 that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. But should I really expect that the main purpose of God’s plans is to make me happy right here, right now?
The reality is that Jeremiah was writing to a specific group of people who were being held captive by the nasty King Nebuchadnezzar. They were ripped from their homes and now lived in exile in Babylon.
Jeremiah was reminding them that even though they were not where they expected or hoped to be, God’s plan would stand. God was reminding them that evenin the midst of this insanely hard situation, He had not forgotten them.
And God has not forgotten us either!
Just a few verses earlier, in Jeremiah 29:7, we see that a big part of God’s plan for them was to“seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.” In other words, God wanted them to know His plans weren’t just about them.God’s plan included the people around them.
God was also making it clear that they will be there for awhile. Sure, Godpromised to restore them but it wasn’t coming any time soon. Instead, itwas going to be70 years out when many of them would be dead. God was letting them know that they needed to move forward, because in the eternal picture God’s justice would prevail and everything would be made right — and it was!
Today, in the midst of our own difficult situations, the same faithful God has a plan and purpose for us.If we submit to God’splan, God will use us to bless the world around us.
And here’s the important truth I want you to hear that come right after Jeremiah 29:11, in good times and bad:
“(when) you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Today, in the midst of life’s difficulties, how does God want you to trust His plan for you?
How does God want you to be a blessing to others?