“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
In his letter to the surviving elders among the Jewish exiles and priests, the prophet Jeremiah assured God’s people that they wouldn’t be captives forever. He encouraged them to settle, marry, and raise families in the foreign land, and he reminded them that God was designing a good plan for them with a hopeful future.
In the midst of today’s trouble and chaos, God is working to design a good future for us as well. He is doing in our generation what he did in ancient Egypt: redeeming a remnant of people. In the final book of the Bible, God reiterates his vision: “A great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9–10).
This dream drives the heart of God. His purpose from all eternity is to prepare a family to indwell the kingdom of God. “‘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, emphasis added). Oh, the beauty of the thrice-repeated word plans. God is plotting for our good. In all the setbacks and slipups, he is ordaining the best for our future. Every event of our days is designed to draw us toward our God and our destiny.
To the degree that we believe and accept his vision for our lives, we will get through life. When people junk us into the pit, we will stand up. God can use this for good. When family members sell us out, we will climb to our feet. God will recycle this pain. Falsely accused? imprisoned? Utterly abandoned? We may stumble but we do not fall? Why? God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).
Everything means everything. No exceptions. Everything in your life is leading to a climactic moment in which Jesus will “reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:20).
Apply the Truth of Jeremiah 29:11
Recall a time in your life when God rescued you and brought good out of your troubles. Ask God who you can encourage with your story and then do it.
By Max Lucado drawn from the NIV Lucado Encouraging Word Bible.
The Lucado Encouraging Word Bible, NIV Edition offers encouragement in God’s Word with a masterful collection of Max Lucado’s encouraging words curated from his more than forty years of sermons, books, and articles interspersed in Scripture. Learn More >