“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.”
These wonderful words of life and promise and hope that so many believers have claimed as personal encouragement were given first to a specific group of Your people who had rejected You. They endured hardship by being forcibly removed from their homes and land. They had been seized by a military force and taken to a foreign country to live as captives.
I cannot even imagine the trauma of being relocated like that. I would imagine escape back home would have been considered. Or revolt. Some attempt to regain freedom.
But even if escape were possible, home was a thousand miles away! And now comes this letter from Jeremiah to say “Accept captivity! Settle down! Live in the new land. Pray for your new home! For seventy years!”
That must have seemed just the opposite of what they wanted to do. And the harsh word that this was Your doing must have been confusing and hurtful. But then, in the same breath, comes Your promise to them. “When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My good promise to bring you back to this place.” And the reassurance that Your plan was to give them hope and a future.
Father, I have been in some hard places and I sometimes wonder if it’s really where You want me to be. I trust the plans You have for me. Even if it means I have to wait on Your timing.
Father, open my eyes to the truth of where I am right now. If I have gotten myself off Your path, show me how to return to it.
If I am where You want me to be, help me hear your voice of encouragement. And feel Your presence here with me.
And if waiting is involved, help me wait patiently, prayerfully, praise-fully, and productively. But please don’t let it take seventy years!
Show me Your plans as I need to see them. My hope and my future are in You. Amen