A Future And A Hope - Jeremiah 29:11

Peace During Troubles

For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:10-11 NKJV

Jeremiah 29:11 is very commonly quoted scriptures. Searching the internet for images of this scripture brings up many fancy and beautifully made images of it. It is a wonderful verse of hope and promise. Often this verse is looked at without the context of the passage around it. In and of itself, it’s a good verse, but by adding in the context of what’s happening around it, we find this promise to be extra special in the context of troubled times.

This verse is given to the Israelites after the Babylonians had come in and taken their people captive. They were in exile in a foreign land and they were looking for hope that they would be able to come back home. Jeremiah receives this message from the Lord and it’s a message of peace to the people who have just had their entire lives upturned and uprooted (Jeremiah 29:4)

In the first part of the chapter, we hear God telling His people to settle into the land of Babylon. They are not to fight or rise up or listen to people who encourage anything other than this (v. 5-9). God also says in verse 4 that this exile has been allowed by God.

The comfort from this passage is this: no matter where you are or how hopeless your circumstances seem, God has not forsaken you. He knows where you are and how you got there and what’s going to happen to you tomorrow. God is always bigger than our circumstances and He is working for our good and His eternal plan.

Verse 10 begins God promise to Israel: your captivity will end, I know the day and I will keep my Word that you will come home. But it also contains an unpleasant truth, this captivity will last 70 years.

The hope we can glean from this is knowing that God knows the exact passage out that we need. He knows when to bring it and He will, because He is good. We can trust Him and live in peace knowing that He’s the ultimate authority in our lives.

Now, we come to the verse of promise. Verse 11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This promise is even sweeter when we know that it’s God reminding a lost and hurting people that they won’t be lost forever. God is working toward the good of all of his people, not simply the people in one time or in one place. His plan for a future and a hope is good and trustworthy. No matter what we feel like or see around us, we can rely on that.

What’s your captivity right now? What’s your struggle that feels like it’s overwhelming you? God has an appointed time for you to step into His blessing. Lean on His word and live in peace while His plans come to a beautiful conclusion.

God Rejoices Over You - Zephaniah 3:17

God Rejoices Over You

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

We’re discussing James in small group and part of what we talked about today included the part about God not being partial to anyone and the part of viewing ourselves through God’s perspective. It got me to thinking about God’s love for us, not just a little love, but extravagant love. Not only does He love me like that, but He loves absolutely everyone like that. It’s overwhelming to think about!

It’s so wonderful to breathe in the truth of how God views us and allow that to fill us up. I need this reminder so often!

He will rejoices over me with gladness

So often I feel like a burden to God, even though I don’t generally express it that way. I feel bad when I mess up or I feel like I’m constantly asking for things even when I know I shouldn’t. No matter how I’m feeling, I love to have the reminder that God rejoices over me. He’s glad about me!

He quiets me by his love

When my mind is swirling or when I’m really worried about things, going to God with my problems and concerns always makes me feel better. He helps to take worries away and return my perspective to His greatness instead of my own problems. And He does all this with His love, not rebukes or disappointment, but love!

He will exults over me with LOUD singing

I love this one! Exult isn’t a word that we often use, but Merriam-Webster defines it as: show or feel elation or jubilation. He is jubilantly singing over me. I soak this one up, because I don’t feel worthy of this for anyone to do, let alone a perfect and powerful God. But He does and He does it loudly!

I love how much my heavenly Father loves me and I love that he reminds me of it because of who He is. I hope this reminder can help you remember it as well. GOD LOVES YOU!!!!

A Chapter of Praise and Promise

My Word Shall Not Return Empty

Psalm 55 is a beautiful celebration of who God is, and by extension, who we aren’t. This passage contains the famous verse, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (v. 8). That is only one gem in a chapter of beauty.

My Favorites

1 Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

God is accessible to everyone, no matter what. God is not over an empire of have’s while all the have-not’s cry at the locked door. That’s not how His kingdom works. All are able to come and eat at the feast of our Lord God. He invites everyone and provides for them because of His love and His gracious plan.

2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

So much in this world promises to take all your problems away. From our health to our homes to our money to our time, we are shouted at by so many that they’ve solved all the problems. It’s not true, though. There is only one thing that satisfies and one thing alone: a relationship with God the Most High God.

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

This promise is speaking to where I am right now and some of the things that I’ve been struggling with. Sometimes I feel like I’m letting God down by not accomplishing great things. But this remind me that, one, God’s plans can’t be foiled by me or anyone else. I don’t know how it works, but God will accomplish His goals and my disobedience (although it has consequences) can’t stop it from being accomplished. Two, this passage, combined with Ephesians 2:10 that says God prepared good works for me to walk in, says to me that I have a purpose and I can be a part of God’s great plan. My job is to do what God created me to do, to be the person He created me to be, and to let the rest be in His hands.

While these three are favorites for me, the rest of this chapter is awesome. Definitely read this section and spend time praising God!