Dear Precious Friends,
As we enter into this New Year with great hope and expectation , I am drawn to one of my favorite verses and wanted to delve in deeper to understand where the children of Israel were when this was written.
When understood in context, we discover that the words of Jeremiah 29:11 were spoken to people in the midst of hardship and suffering; people who were likely desiring an immediate rescue like the one Hananiah lied about. But God’s response is not to provide immediate escape from the difficult situation. Rather, God promises that He has a plan to prosper them in the midst of their current situation.
As we face difficult situations today, we can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 knowing that it is not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship or suffering, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, He can work through it to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. (in this text the word “prosper” in the Greek literally means “to help on the road” or “succeed in reaching.” It is very clear from this definition that prosperity is more than money and the accumulation of wealth, but rather an ongoing state of success that touches every area of our lives... it truly is knowing you are following God's will and it's a state of incredible joy having nothing to do with money)
Furthermore, we can take comfort in knowing that God promises to be there for us in these situations. For in the verses immediately following Jeremiah 29:11, God proclaims through Jeremiah that when you “call on me and come and pray to me… I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 11:12-13).
"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
This Word from the Lord was a reminder to the children of Israel that even though they were in Babylonian captivity (and would be for seventy years), God still had a plan for them. Even though they were in a place where their hands were tied and hope of freedom was far away, God's plan for them still remained. Sometimes it's hard to imagine that God has a plan to prosper and "not to harm us when we feel as if we are living in captivity.
Maybe that's where some are as we move forward into 2021. If so, it can be easy to start to only think of where you are instead of where God wants you to be. He wants us to be in a place where we are trusting Him, even when we feel like our hands are tied. Even when we feel stuck and we are not moving forward. Yes, there will be times where it seems like God's plan is never coming to fruition...and we are just waiting for our issues to sort themselves out. His plan for us is that we would be saved from our captivity through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8).
Our New Year reminds us to focus on His promises...and we are not to believe what our circumstances are "saying" to us. Believe what God says to you--- "I know the plans I have for you."
Sometimes what we are going through makes us feel like God has abandoned us... or as if God has no plan for you. But it might be that those very circumstances are the instrument, or avenue, that will take us into God's plan instead. Remember that what often looks like the enemy coming to steal the plan of God, or make us think that there is no plan, is the very thing that may be taking us into His plan. Remember, His word doesn't say all things are good it says... ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD AND ARE CALLED TO HIS PURPOSES...
I will share more from Jeremiah 29:12-13 tomorrow....
This year we are focusing on God's promises which are the only truth we have in this life!!!