Surely I know the plans I have for you

Sunday’s Scripture – September 6, 2020

Jeremiah 29: 4-7, 11

 

Reflection

We love to quote Jeremiah 29:11 every May when a new batch of students graduates. But, did you know this verse is for us even when we’re not walking across a stage in cap and gown?

The 29th chapter of Jeremiah is a letter written from Jeremiah to the Israelites while they are exiles in Babylon. In other words, the Israelites weren’t exactly smiling for a group photo or enjoying cake and punch. No, they were fearing for their lives and grieving the loss of family, friends, livelihood, possessions, life as they knew it, and even the very presence of God (which, in their minds, resided in the temple at Jerusalem).

It’s into this seemingly hopeless situation that God speaks those famous words: “For surely I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

It’s hard for us to fathom just how hopeless life seemed to the Israelite’s. But, there is no situation that God does not intend to give us a future with hope.

Do we really believe that? If we do, then it’s time to dig in, to plant roots right where we are, to invest. Just a few verses earlier (29:4-7), God tells the people to build houses, plant gardens, grow families, and even pray God’s blessing on their new location.

We may still grieve, but even in exile, God wants us to thrive, not just survive.

Do you see that trust in God looks like doing just that? If we really believe in God’s character and God’s promise, then we will begin the hard work of building a life right where we are.

Our hope is not in this world. It’s in the promise and presence of God, which goes wherever we do.

God never promises that we will know the plans God has for us. But rest assured: God does. And, whatever they are, they are for our good. They are to give us hope and a future.

 

Questions

  • What is your hopeless situation right now?
  • Are you thriving or surviving? What one next step can you take to invest and begin to build a life right where you are?
  • Do you have hope and joy and peace? If not, it’s time to return to the Lord. Spend some time in prayer.

 

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