Everyone's Favorite Verse
"'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
Jeremiah 29:11 is many people’s favorite verse of Scripture. It’s always popular this time of year when students are graduating from high school and college. It comes in handy when pink slips are delivered and people lose their jobs. When we face uncertainty, calamity or tragedy, we are encouraged by this verse of Scripture. We find comfort, hope, rest and peace in knowing that God has a plan for our lives. He knows the plans He has for us and His plans are good. His plan is not to harm us. His plan is to prosper us and to give us a hope and future. With that kind of news, it’s no wonder this Scripture ends up on our favorites list time and time again!
Today, let’s dig a littler deeper into this verse and the ones that surround it to see if we can learn something from the context and see it come alive in practical ways. Here’s Jeremiah 29:11 in context, “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. 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. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.’” (Jeremiah 29:10-14, NIV)
Jeremiah 29:10: Notice the verse before verse 11. God’s people were prisoners and had been captives for seventy years when the Lord gave them the promise of a good future. In 2 Chronicles 36 we find out why the Israelites were taken captive. They were unfaithful to the Lord and they followed the ungodly practices of the culture; they mocked God’s messengers and despised their words of truth. Because of their unbelief and rebellion they were led into Babylonian captivity for seventy years.
What about you? Does this apply to your life? Have you been in captivity? Are you feeling imprisoned? Had a rebellious high school season? Walked away from the Lord in college? Living in sin and feeling like the devil’s prisoner? Following the world's ways, morality and values? Perhaps the Lord has tried to encourage you through a strong Christian, a church or ministry, but you’ve mocked their words and resisted their message. If you have found yourself living in a major captivity of emptiness, depression, anger, anxiety, failure, poverty and destruction—God has good news for you—there is a verse 11.
Jeremiah 29:11: Here’s God’s promise for those who have felt captive: “‘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 29:12-14: Notice the verses after verse 11. How do we tap into the promise of God's good plans? His promise of a great future, His plan to prosper and give us hope seems to be contingent on our willingness to call on Him, to come to Him, to pray to Him and to seek Him with all of our hearts! He promised that then He will be found by us, and then He will bring us back from captivity!
Are you ready to break out of whatever prison, captivity or bondage you’ve been living under? Are you ready to experience a bright future and His good plans for your life? Today, get serious and call on the Lord and seek Him with your whole heart. Talk to the Lord, pray, cry out, pour out your heart to Him and He will be found by you! Seek out that strong Christian or church or ministry that tried to lead you to the Lord and ask for prayer and support. Seek the Lord in every way you know how. When you find the Lord in a tangible way, you will find His mercy, love, forgiveness, grace, favor and peace. He will bring you back from captivity! Then, He will order your steps into the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and give you a hope and a future!
Today, let’s pray Jeremiah 29:11 in a new way.
Say It: “Father, I am so glad that You know the plans You have for me. I am so thankful that Your plans are to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future. Lord, I have not been experiencing Your good plans, but instead I have been living like a captive to sin and to unbelief and it’s been pretty miserable. I have mocked You and Your messengers, but today I am turning a corner. Today, I repent and I call out to You. Lord I come to You, I pray to You and I seek You with all of my being. I humble myself before You and I search for You. Thank You that I will find You in a new and fresh way and You will bring me back from captivity and You will lead me into the plans You have for me! In Jesus’ Name. Amen."
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