“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
Before you check out because you’ve heard this verse a million times, answer this: Have you ever been in a place you really didn’t want to be in life? (I’m going to try to keep this post brief so stick with me.) My guess is some of you are there now. It could be no fault of your own or all your fault, the simple fact is your present reality is not what you planned.
God spoke this promise to a bunch of HIS people that were exiled to Babylon because they had turned away from God as a nation. The whole nation, however, did not go into exile, just some of the people. Among the exiles were men, women, children, prophets, priests, and godly people. Uprooted, away from their homes, God speaks to them through the prophet Jeremiah.
He speaks to the exiles who are in a big hurry to get out of their present reality. They hate where they are. They want God to send them back to where they came from but God won’t. Instead, God tells them that he is going to bless them right where they are and that they should pray for the city God has brought them to because as that city prospers so will they. He goes on to say that not only will they prosper where they are and increase but will also be protected. So, here the exiles are hating their present situation when in reality God has uprooted them to preserve them. On top of all of this, he says he also has other plans, plans that involve hope, restoration, and his goodness.
Our vision is so short-sighted. Our goals, mostly selfish, so that we can’t see what God is really up to. You might feel like you have been exiled. You might feel like you really messed up and now you have to face the consequences of what you have done. You may feel like someone else really messed up and you are living the repercussions of their actions. Can I just say, the plan hasn’t changed? His plans for you haven’t changed. The plans of giving you hope and a future hasn’t changed. You see your mistakes or others mistakes but God sees his plans. You have your eyes on what’s wrong. God has his eyes on what he has planned. He is so good and he is wanting to get that goodness to you. Seeking him wholeheartedly instead of trying to escape is the first step.