By: Pastor Ed Young
Posted: June 15, 2017
From Series: Lemonade
Jeremiah 29:11, “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 a future and a hope”.
Text without context is pretext, as is the case with many misconstrued Bible verses. And today’s scripture is a perfect example. It’s often perceived as a “feel good” verse—and it is—but not in a carte blanche manner. Jeremiah was writing to the exiled Jews living in Babylon—obviously, a place they didn’t want to be. God spoke through the prophet saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you. I have good plans for your future”.
Although God didn’t reveal his entire plan to the Jews in captivity, He did provide clear directives on what to do during their time there. He told them to settle in and seek the peace and prosperity of their city. This isn’t exactly the news they wanted to hear, yet if they believed in God’s promises, focused less on their problems and more on His instructions, then they’d prosper. Our problem with problems is our problem. When we hyper-focus on what’s wrong it makes it all about us. But when we forge ahead with the desire to please God we will be filled with immense joy despite the circumstances.
God’s goal for our lives is to grow increasingly more like Jesus. His purpose is a set direction and a final destination. How do we get there? We stick with His plans! When we follow the plans set before us, we are actively pursuing the fulfillment of our purpose. Philippians 1:6 states, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. This means that no matter where we are or what we face, God will work through it to keep us on course and deliver us to the finish line.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a great memory verse! Write it in your journal at the top of the page and ask God to reveal what He wants you to see. Then listen for His voice and allow His thoughts to flow from your mind to your heart to your pen and onto the page.
Father God, how wonderful it is to know that You have great plans for my future. Today I seek to please You and stick with Your plan. Thank You for Your constant presence and provision. May I honor You and others with all my words, actions, and deeds.
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