This past month, I felt the urge to get up and read Jeremiah in the mornings for two reasons: Jeremiah 29:11 “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” is my sister-in-law’s favorite verse and I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of God’s powerful promise in Jeremiah 29:11.
When God called Jeremiah forth as His voice to the people, He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. Jeremiah immediately doubted what God had called him to do because he felt powerless as a child, but God responded: “Do not say, I am only a child. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and I will rescue you.” Jeremiah 1:7-8.
God rescued Jeremiah and I am humbled by what Jeremiah had to go through to fulfill God‘s calling on his life. He was rejected, tormented, and hated by many, yet Jeremiah did not live his life for others. God’s input and guidance was all Jeremiah cared about once he had complete trust in the Lord’s plan for him.
At times, I feel like a hypocrite in my walk with God because when things are going well I have no reservation in singing songs of praise and boasting about how awesome and powerful God‘s promise to me is. On the flip side, when prayers are not answered the way I had requested or in my timing, my heart is not as full and the last thing on my mind is praising Christ. I have to admit that being candid with you is not at all easy. I feel embarrassed for how I have handled tough situations because in the midst of the storm, I could not feel God’s protection. In addition, I have come to terms with the fact that God has a completely different definition than mine for the words prosper, harm, hope, and future.
1. How does your definition of words prosper, harm, hope, and future compare to God’s?
2. What significance does the verse Jeremiah 29:11 have in your life?
3. What has God placed on your heart with which you are currently struggling?
4. How can I pray for you to allow Jeremiah 29:11 heal your heart and/or your relationship with God?