Jeremiah 29:11 - God's Plan For Us Is Good; Giving Us Hope And A Future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 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.
In 597 B.C., the Babylonians began to deport the Jews to
Babylon. Jeremiah's letter to the exiles helps us understand how we can
make the best of a difficult situation.
Accept it. Live as normal a life as you can and put up with
inconveniences without complaining. Try to be a blessing to others. Be a
peacemaker, not a troublemaker.
Be patient. God has the timing all worked out, and His plans
never fail. He knows how long and how much.
Trust God. Verse 11 is a powerful promise to claim when you are
"in exile." God thinks about you personally and is planning for you.
His plans are for peace, not war, so you need not fear the future.
His plans are purposeful, so let Him work out His will. No matter
how difficult your situation may be, do not waste your suffering by
Avoid false hopes. It is human to indulge in false hopes and
grasp at every straw, but this approach leads to despair. Avoid the
subtle voices of the false teachers with their false hopes. The Word of
God will tell you what to do. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary
by Warren Wiersbe re Jer. 29]
Hope (29:11-14). These are undoubtedly among the most comforting
verses in Scripture. The exiles in Babylon are to settle down and wait,
for God knows the plans He has for them, plans to give them a hope
and a future. In the O.T. "hope," either miqweh/tiqwah or yahal
invites us to look ahead in confident expectation. Each assumes a time
of waiting. But the latter especially reminds us that our future is
guaranteed by our personal relationship with God. Because He is our God, He
has plans for us. And those plans are good--both beautiful and
beneficial. Like the exiles, we may have to wait for God's plans for us to
bear fruit. But we can wait confidently, because our hope is in Him.
[Victor Bible Reader's Companion]
When Jeremiah uttered these words, he was reminding the people
of Judah about a key principle behind God's dealings with his
people in any era. It is a principle still very much at work today: God
wants to bless us, not harm us.
Whatever the circumstances of your life, whatever important and
life-changing decisions face you, remember that God is in control of your
future. He knows the plans he has for you, and they are for your good.
When you come to the crossroads and you have your heart set on
turning right, he may want you to turn left instead. You must be open to
God's leading in whatever direction he sees is best for you. If you
follow his leading, you will be in the center of his will, fulfilling
the purpose he has in mind. When you find yourself in the midst of
suffering and hardship, don't think his plans for you have changed. God
uses all things for the ultimate good of those who love him. You
might not understand his purpose in all things, but he promises to be
working for your good (Romans 8:28, July 24). You can be confident that
God will keep that promise. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re
Do you ever feel tempted to give up? Perhaps right now you feel
overlooked, forgotten, mistreated, and you want to quit. Satan's goal is to
get you to do just that--throw in the towel and call it quits.
Discouragement is his favorite weapon.
But remember this: while disappointments are inevitable,
discouragement is a choice.
Once we yield to the devil's debilitating whispers of doubt and
fear, we quickly find ourselves trapped in a web of self-pity. Soon
afterwards we try to justify our feelings of anger, envy, and jealousy.
Encouragement rarely comes to those looking for ways to justify themselves.
During a very troubling time in Israel's history, God directed
Jeremiah to speak words of hope and encouragement to the disheartened
exiles in Babylon. "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says
the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future
and a hope" (Jer. 29:11).
If we are ever going to reach our full potential, we must
understand a very important truth: God is for us, He is not against us. In
Babylon, Israel sorted out her faith and rediscovered her deep need for
God often uses trials to position us for greater blessing. Even
in times of great disappointment, He has our best in mind. He knows
how He wants to use the disappointment or hardship for our benefit,
and He desires that we see Him as our only source of salvation and
When you feel tempted to yield to discouragement, go to God in
prayer. Tell Him all you are feeling--the unkind ways you have been
treated that do not seem fair to you. God has an objective view of the
situation. He sees the future and knows the direction your life will take.
He also wants you to totally depend on Him and not rely on the
compliments or resources of others. While disappointments will come-you live
in a fallen world, after all-you can live above it by focusing your
heart on Jesus Christ.
If you are in an emotionally or physically difficult spot right
now, refuse to become discouraged. Ask the Lord to reveal His will
and plan for your life. Commit yourself fully to Him and pray to
obey no matter what it costs. If you take this approach, then God
will provide for you in ways that far exceed human understanding.
[Life Principles SB by Charles Stanley re vv.10-14]
God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy
and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that
their example may be a source of strength to others. The very trials
that test our faith most severely and make it seem that God has
forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our
burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in
everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests
to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:5b-7
We may not be spared pain, suffering, or hardship, but God will
see us through to a glorious conclusion. [Life Application SB]