We often approach this verse as a security blanket:
Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and hope.
This passage is written to the entire nation, and we need to let the Bible speak to us. The main point of the verse is not that we would escape our trials and tribulations, but that we would continue to thrive in the midst of it. That is not at all what God was promising to the Israelites, and it’s not what he promises us, either.
The Israelites were in exile and punished by God due to their disobedience. The prophet Jeremiah confronted the false prophet, Hananiah, who proclaimed that God was going to free Israel from Babylon in two years. Jeremiah confronts Hananiah about her lie and then states the promise we read in Jeremiah 29:11. God had a good plan for the Israelites that gave them hope and a prosperity future.
Before Jeremiah shares his promise, he gives them an order from God: “Seek the peace and the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
Although the Israelites did not want to hear the order from God, to do His will in verse Jeremiah 29:7 first. They wanted just to go home and for their suffering to end. Instead, God’s plan was for them to stay right where they were and to help prosper the nation that enslaved them.
For sure God knows the plans He has for us, and ultimately He will give us a glorious future. But as we walk out our lives on this crazy earth, let’s remember that the best growth comes through persevering through trials, not escaping them entirely. And when we learn perseverance, we find surprising joy. Just know that our future in Jeremiah is going to be bright, and everyone in the community through prayer and worship shall have a future of hope.
God Our Father, Your plan for each one of us is held on to a future full of hope and wisdom of Your Spirit so that we can see the shape of Your plan in the gifts You have given us, and in the circumstances of our daily lives. Provide us with the freedom of Your Spirit, to seek You with all our hearts, and to choose Your will above all else. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. AMEN
“Life Is Only What You Make It”
Mrs. Vernessie M. Joseph-Burbank