A Secure Future
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. (Jeremiah 29:11)
From time to time, all of us face unfortunate circumstances: a death in the family, the loss of a job, or perhaps a broken relationship. Such things are not often resolved quickly, and it may seem like God has forgotten about us. For many people, the experience can be like a descent into the deep valley of despair before we finally realize that God only has our best interests in mind. During our darkest days, the enemy would have us believe that we have been abandoned to fend for ourselves.
Jeremiah 29:11 is part of a letter that Jeremiah wrote from Jerusalem to the Judean exiles then living in Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar’s army had left the city in ruins.
Through the prophet’s letter, God told the people to, Grow where you’ve been planted. Settle in for the long haul. More specifically, He told them to build houses, to plant gardens, to marry and have children, and to plan for the future. He even instructed the large group of Jewish exiles to pray for Babylon, the city of their captivity, so that they would be blessed through its blessing. Indeed, their very welfare depended on it.
Can you imagine being deported to a foreign country only to have the Lord command you to dive right in, become model citizens and even to pray for the welfare and security of the city? But that’s the mandate Jeremiah’s readers were given. They would need that kind of mindset because God reveals that it will be seventy years before He will take them back to the Promised Land.
Many of the Jewish exiles likely doubted the veracity of the words contained in Jeremiah’s letter. Perhaps they failed to see the hope and future God had in store for them. For others, His words became strength to keep them going for another day. Just like these captives, we can find ourselves wondering when our trial will end.
Do you doubt God’s good intentions toward you? Do you sometimes lose sight of the larger picture of your purpose in God’s Kingdom? Consider Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Rome when he says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT). Notice that he says “everything,” not some things. God cares about every detail of your life.
God indeed has a plan and a future in store for you. He promised and did it for Israel, and He will do it for you. So, when you’re tempted to think there is no hope for your situation, seek God and ask Him for strength, and He’ll give you just enough to keep you going another day.