“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.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT
Writer: Jeremiah, the prophet
Context: Jeremiah’s letter to the Israelites exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar
Connect the Dots: I confess I worry about our future as a nation. Not because of the flawed leaders in power but because of how the people are responding in a time when we need unity. I wonder how the Israelites truly felt being exiled in Babylon. Their focus must have been on deliverance. . .on simply getting passed their current, horrible state of expulsion. I imagine they attacked each other with words as they wrestled with their discomfort and fear. (Sound familiar?) Then along came Jeremiah to share hope with God’s people. “God has a plan, and it’s for your good,” he told them. Yet, before he proclaims their future security, he says this. . .
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. Jeremiah 29:7 NLT
Maybe you woke up on November 9th feeling like a stranger in a strange land. We’ve not been exiled, but perhaps the state of the country you love leaves you feeling as though you’ve been banished to an uncomfortable place. The words of the prophet Jeremiah are as relevant for us today as they were for the Israelites in Babylon many years ago.
Work for peace, and pray. Because the welfare of this nation will determine our own.
God does have a plan to give us and our families hope and a bright future. But how we respond in the midst of the mess will determine whether or not we get to walk into it.
When we seek him with our whole heart. . .with our thoughts and words and actions. . .we will find him and he will reveal everything we need to thrive in the chaos.
- What aspects of the future do I fear right now?
- In what areas of my life + future do I need to trust God?
- What are three ways I can actively seek God this week?
Dear God, Thank you for securing our future and our hope. We leave every fear and concern with you today. Show us how to thrive even when life gets messy. Turn our eyes and our ears away from the chatter and towards you. Hear our prayers as we seek peace and unity for our nation. As we follow you with our whole heart, lead us in how to effectively share your love + truth with the world. Amen.
Your Turn. . .
How did Jeremiah 29:11-13 speak to your heart as you read it today?