For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Have you, in a moment of worry, thought to yourself, "If I only knew the outcome of this particular situation, I could relax or have peace"? I must confess that I have operated under this mindset many times in my life. In reality, knowing the future would probably just cause more worry and uncertainty in my life. The good news is that while I do not know the future, there is Someone who does know the future who is much more equipped to handle the trials and triumphs of our lives as we face them. Scripture teaches us that God knows the future and that ultimately those who follow Him can look to the future with hope.
Jeremiah 29 is a letter written to the Israelites who were exiled in Babylon at the time because of their sin. In this letter, Jeremiah wrote to these exiles, telling them that God was calling them to settle down in Babylon and make roots because they would be there for a while, seventy years to be exact. At the same time, Jeremiah prophesied that God promised hope for the Israelites. After seven decades, the Israelites would return to Israel from Babylon. God knew His plans for Israel, and these plans were good and signified hope for them (verse 11). In other words, God was not done working in the lives of the people of Israel. He was going to bring good out of a bad situation, and, because of that, the Israelites could have hope. What a beautiful promise!
Just like God promised hope for the people of Israel, He promises hope for you today. Perhaps you are going through a difficult situation. Perhaps the uncertainties and unknowns of life have you reeling with worry. Let me assure you, my friend, that although you do not know how your story will end, God does. He has given us a glimpse of how our stories will end if we follow Him. One day Jesus will return, and He will call all of His people to Himself, and they will have eternal life with Him forever (Revelation 22). This is the hope that we have to look to, even when we face difficult, uncertain situations. Whatever you are facing today, take heart! God knows how your story will end, and if you are His follower, you can have hope because of God's promises in Scripture.
What are you worried about today? Do you find yourself constantly wanting to know what the future holds for you in a particular circumstance? My friend, I encourage you to turn to the Lord. Take a few minutes to listen to the song Because He Lives sung by David Crowder. Sing along with the song. As you sing, sing with passion, especially when you sing the words, "Because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living just because He lives." Rather than dwell on your current circumstances, look to Him, the One who holds the future. He promises hope for all who follow and place their faith in Him.
Read Jeremiah 29:1-14 (NLT)
Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. This was after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord.
This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”