Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
“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 (NIV))
Did you have your life planned out?
How did that work out for you?
Almost everyone quotes this passage when they think of the blessings of God in their lives, but almost everyone fails to recognize one key piece of information about this passage. They forget the context in which it was delivered!
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
(Jeremiah 29:10 (NIV))
Years prior to these words being recorded, most of the people in Jerusalem were taken into captivity and taken to Babylon. God’s timing was to have the descendants leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem. God spoke these words to the complete group of people who would be fulfilling His will by returning to Jerusalem, by returning to the city that God loves. It was God’s desire to prosper them so that they would not only have a hope and a future, but to be able to give a hope and a future to all of humanity through what would eventually transpire in and around Jerusalem.
I find it saddening that today’s prosperity oriented mindset reads these words and takes what God said to His people in exile and turns it into a promise to make us rich.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))
God had a plan to give us hope even when we were condemned in our sin and even when we were without hope. If we are all sinners and we deserve death, what type of a future do we have? God realized this and set things in motion to give us hope and a future. God knew that in order to fulfill His promises for this hope and future, He had to move the people back to Jerusalem. He had to set the plans in motion that would bring Jesus into the world. God’s plan was to give everyone a hope of overcoming death and a future in His presence.
Do you trust in God’s plans?