God’s Plans, In His Time
This time of year there are always several graduations, weddings and retirement celebrations to attend, and, as always, many other life changing events happening. Sometimes it’s things we didn’t “plan” to experience. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, the Lord is with us every step of the way. Take to heart this great scripture and chapter in Jeremiah.
“For I know the plans I have for you” —- this is the Lord’s declaration—- “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”
Jeremiah 29 was a letter written to displaced Jewish captives living in Babylon. While other prophets were claiming a miraculous rescue by God…. Jeremiah did not. “Our sins have alienated us from Him and only His judgement is left”. But God is rich in mercy, even in His judgement. It may take a while but, as author Robert Morgan says, “His purposes are stubborn things and His ultimate plans are undeterred”
Here is what Jeremiah advises the refugees.
1) Make the best of things (vv. 4-6) Settle down, go with life, build houses, plant gardens, bloom where you are planted. You may not be where you want to be but make the most of where you are. As Tolkien says through Gandalf and Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, “I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us.”
2) Pray where you are (v. 7) Pray for the country that you are in, pray for peace, pray for your family. Make your request known to God, with thanksgiving, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
3) Listen to the right voices. (vv.8-9) Listen to God’s message… not the world’s message, not Satan’s message of false hope that leads to discouragement. Trust me … he has considerable expertise in that field!! Rather listen to the true word of God. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood….
4) Take the long view (v. 10) Think vertically, not horizontally. Look to the heavens for your answers and make your viewpoint eternity. Keep your moorings in His word and your compass on True North.
5) Remain hopeful in God’s plan for you (v.11) Make this a life verse. He has plans for you, He has a future for you, He wants you to have hope in Him. Make it a point to remember that your Hope is in Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a powerful verse …. embed it in your daily thoughts. Our Redeemer is Faithful and True!
(Thoughts by Larry May, J R R Tolkien, and Robert Morgan included.)
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