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.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
It may be one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. Before you stop there and go “I know this already,” hear me out because I had a revelation recently in this scripture. Maybe you already knew it, but I didn’t know this; God made this promise during in the middle of their captivity. Say what? Let’s look at the first verse;
Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.
In the middle of their captivity, God spoke into their hearts that He would do great things for them and not evil. When I came across this, it lit up like a lightbulb to me. So often, we think that when things are going right in our life that this is where God does great things for us. It isn’t true. Israel had been held captive by their enemies for quite some time. I am sure that they had been ready to give up. But God, through the prophet Jeremiah, spoke to their hearts that it was time to rebuild their lives even in the midst of their captivity.
“Even in Israel’s darkest hour, God assured the people of His plans to prosper them and give them a hopeful future. Just so, even when we don’t see immediate results, we can remain assured of God’s ultimate blessing and benefit. The fruit may not come immediately, but it will come ultimately.”
Wow! Could you imagine even in the midst of all that you are going through to know that God has an ultimate plan that is coming for you? Will it be easy? No! I wish I could say yes. But all throughout scripture, we see that God’s people did not have it easy.
- Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10) Abraham left everything behind that he knew into a land that he did not know to take hold of a promise that he had not seen. Along the way, he encountered countless obstacles but still, by faith, persevered.
- Sarah (Hebrews 11:11-12) Sarah gave birth to Isaac at a very old age. Before this, she went almost 100 years without bearing a child which, in Bible times, was frowned upon. It was considered a curse from God if you could not have children.
- Noah (Genesis 6) Noah was born into a world that was chaotic and evil. God decided to while the slate clean and start all over. He chose Noah to build a huge boat in the middle of the desert. That seems all fine and dandy until you hear that it had never rained and there weren’t any boats. He was ridiculed and slandered. But he never wavered. The flood came and he lives with his family to repopulate the earth.
- David (1 Samuel 18-31:5) A very long portion of history, David was chased by Saul because David had the anointing of God on his life and was considered more favorable by the people. This made Saul jealous, resentful, and murderous. Crazed by this jealousy, Saul attempted to kill David only to find his own demise by his own sword by his own hands.
- Job (Job) We all know about Job. Plagued by trials, Job lost every single thing he had. He had “friends” that made you want to say “with friends like these, who needs enemies?!” Job lamented throughout the book only to have God remind him sternly that He was God and what He can do. Then, God restored everything to him…and then some.
I could go on and on. Not to belabor the point, but in the middle of our adversity God is working things out for our good. No matter how hard it is, no matter the trial we go through, no matter how many times we want to give up, God is still working it all for our good.
I don’t tell you this just because it’s some feel-good message. I tell you this because I have been there. I have been in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death time and time again. I am there right now. But I have to have some sort of hope that God will redeem it all. When I read this verse, it put it all in a whole new light for me. I hope it has for you!