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.
Have you ever set off on a path with high hopes and suddenly found yourself facing some trouble? It could be as simple as driving from one destination to another, but somehow you find that you are lost and driving around in circles. Or, it could be as complicated as a marriage that starts off with great hopes but runs into a sticky spot. It could be something you have been praying for, but with each passing year, there seems to be no answer. In those sticky moments, it is easy to give up and give in.
The exiles found themselves in a sticky spot. They were God’s chosen people but disobedience led them into captivity. They must have felt forsaken and forgotten in that foreign place, surrounded by a people who worshipped foreign gods. What kind of plan was this? What good could come from their current situation? Amid their despair, the prophet Jeremiah brings them a message from God. God’s plans for them cannot be thwarted by earthly circumstances; despite current appearances God’s plans are to prosper them, not to harm them.
Dear friend, this very moment you may be experiencing your very own “Babylon.” The burdens and stresses of this human life have a way of weighing us down and a making us feel as though we are all alone, forgotten. They have a way of making us feel as though all hope is lost. They have a way of making us feel as though we are driving around life in circles with no destination in sight. But here is the truth, what God has declared for his people endures forever. And what he said to the exiles, applies to our situations as well, if we will only believe. We may not see what’s ahead but God does, and many times we may not know why we have to wait for an answer for so long, but God does and he declares today, “I know the plans I have for you," … "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The children of Israel found God in that sticky place and you will too, if you keep your eyes fixed on him. Trust God even now and hold on to his unchanging word. No matter how strong the storm and no matter how long the wait, lean on him because he will not fail you. Let his word anchor your faith as you wait for him. He truly is a good, good father who keeps his end of the bargain. His love for you is unconditional and your future in him is secure.
Dear Father, thank you for loving me, just as I am. I know your plans for me are for good and not for evil. Give me the strength and the faith I need to hold on to your promises for me. I cast my eyes and my hope on you and not on the circumstances surrounding me. In Jesus’ Holy name I pray. Amen.