Jeremiah 29:13 - Seeking and Finding God.
Jeremiah 29:13 - Seeking and Finding God.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek
me with all your heart.
When you're away at college, at boot camp, or almost anywhere
else, there's nothing quite like a letter from home. You know that the
familiar handwriting means the message inside is just for you
Jeremiah's friends, neighbors, and other fellow citizens were
a long way from home. Conquered by invaders, they lived in exile
in Babylon. In this set of prophecies, Jeremiah deals with lonely,
grief-stricken people. They want only to go back home to Jerusalem. Jeremiah
knows, however, that they will be in Babylon for a long time, so he
sends them a letter to help them get on with their lives.
We should not let our lives grind to a halt during troubled
times. In an unpleasant or distressing situation, we must accept what
we cannot change, adjust whatever we can, and get on with our
responsibilities. Some circumstances are unavoidable. Perhaps they aren't going to
change anytime soon, or there is no end in sight. God places us in
these circumstances for good reasons, either to discipline us or to
teach us a lesson.
When you enter times of trouble or sudden change, or when you
realize that your difficult circumstances aren't going to change, pray
often. Don't give in to fear or give up in discouragement; instead, do
what you can to fulfill your responsibilities. [The One Year Through
the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman]
According to God's wise plan, his people were to have hope and a
future; consequently they could call upon him in confidence. Although
the exiles were in a difficult place and time, they should not
despair because they had God's presence, the privilege of prayer, and
God's grace. God can be sought and found when we seek him
wholeheartedly. Neither strange lands, sorrows, frustration, nor physical
problems can break that communion. [Life Application SB]
These promises have given hope to millions of God's people in
various difficult circumstances. In times of trouble, it may appear as
though God has forgotten you. But if you seek him wholeheartedly, you
will find him. Neither a strange land, sorrow, persecution, nor
physical problems can break your fellowship with God. God may be
preparing you, as he did the people of Judah, for a new beginning with him
at the center. Pray diligently and move ahead, doing whatever you
can rather than giving up because of fear and uncertainty. [One Year
NLT SB re Jer. 29:4-14]
What an encouraging word this must have been to the
Israelites, who had just learned that they would be exiled to Babylon for
seventy years. When chaos and confusion were rampant, when their lives
had been turned upside down, this word of hope came to guide them
through their years of captivity. When our lives don't make sense and
our futures look hopeless, the profound truth in these verses gives
us a new perspective. God says, "I know the plans I have for you".
He's not hoping he can conjure something up, nor is he wringing his
hands and wondering what went wrong. His eternal plans for you and for
me were established before the foundation of the world, and nothing
can derail them.
What is the condition for God's plans being fulfilled in our
lives? This passage tells us to seek him earnestly--not halfheartedly,
not occasionally, but with all of our hearts. Through earnest prayer
we can expect to see his good plans for our future and our hope. In
the process, we can also expect to find God.
LORD, thank you that you have planned a future and a hope for
my life. Because of your power and your faithfulness, I know that
nothing in my life is outside your control. Help me to fully and
willingly submit to your will for my future. Draw me to look for you
earnestly and to pray wholeheartedly. May my hope be grounded in your
unchanging character. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller]
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
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
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]
Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our
redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first and last and best
in everything. But this union costs us something. It is a union of
utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud being. All who form
this union must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They
must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the
will of God. There will be a struggle with outward and internal
obstacles. There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of
attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness - sin in all its forms -
must be overcome if we would enter into a union with Christ. The
reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they
are so fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach themselves to
Christ without first detaching themselves from these cherished idols.
After the union with Christ has been formed, it can be preserved only
by earnest prayer and untiring effort. We must resist, we must
deny, we must conquer self. Through the grace of Christ, by courage,
by faith, by watchfulness, we may gain the victory. 5T231
In Psa.46:10 the Lord calls us to silence and inactivity if we
want to know Him intimately. If it were not necessary, He would not
admonish us to do it. The language is so simple and direct and yet we
continue to rattle off non-stop chatter as we rush along the fast-track
going our own way! Why do we do that? It takes self discipline and
the help of the Holy Spirit to be silent. Even if we close our
mouths, our minds race from one thing to another: the unexpected
meetings; the unending errands; the unwritten letters; and the unreturned
phone calls. When is the last time you set aside everything else to be
still before God? If you sincerely want to know Him intimately, you
will schedule some time soon! How about today? [In His Time; Walk
I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate,
though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky,
day after day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved
ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delights
you. I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken
You can find Me in each moment, when you have eyes that see
and ears that hear. Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight
and hearing. I rejoice each time you discover My Presence. Practice
looking and listening for Me during quiet intervals. Gradually you will
find Me in more and more of your moments. You will seek Me and find
Me, when you seek Me above all else. (Psa. 8:1-4; 19:1-2; Jer.
29:13) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I am with you. I am with you. I am with you. Heaven's bells
continually peal with that promise of My Presence. Some people never hear
those bells because their minds are earthbound and their hearts are
closed to Me. Others hear the bells only once or twice in their
lifetimes, in rare moments of seeking Me above all else. My desire is that
My "sheep" hear My voice continually, for I am the ever-present
Quietness is the classroom where you learn to hear My voice.
Beginners need a quiet place in order to still their minds. As you advance
in this discipline, you gradually learn to carry the stillness with
you wherever you go. When you step back into the mainstream of life,
strain to hear those glorious bells: I am with you. I am with you. I am
with you. (Jer. 29:12, 13; John 10:14, 27, 28) [Jesus Calling by
As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My
Love-call to you. I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds,
thoughts, impressions, scriptures. There is no limit to the variety of
ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My
messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a
day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence.
You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in
tragedy and faces filled with grief. I can take the deepest sorrow and
weave it into a pattern for good.
Search for Me and My messages, as you go through this day.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being.
(John 10:27; Rom. 8:28; Jer. 29:13) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
EXAMPLES & ILLUSTRATIONS
Simon Peter is well known to us for his foolish,
extemporaneous statements throughout the Gospels (Mt 16:22; 17:4; 26:33). But
Peter was always seeking after Jesus. Peter followed Jesus from afar
during the night of Jesus' crucifixion (Mt 26:58). Peter ran to the
tomb when he heard Jesus had risen (Lu 24:12). Peter swam in the sea
in his haste to get to Jesus (John 21:7) and even walked on water
in order to join Jesus (Mt 14:29). Peter did not always say or do
the right things, but he did constantly seek to be with Jesus.
Because of this, he was continually encountering his Lord and growing to
be a more faithful disciple.
Whenever we see Peter coming to Jesus he is always
accompanied by others. Because Peter was seeking Jesus, others sought Him
too. What are you known for by those who know you best? Do they see
you searching for fame, power, success, or happiness? Are you known
as a person who seeks after Jesus? God promises: "And you will seek
Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Je
Did you begin today intent on encountering Jesus? Is your
search for Him halfhearted, or are you seeking Him with all your heart?
Have others grown closer to Jesus because they followed your example
and sought Jesus? If your heart is set on pursuing Jesus, you will
always find Him. "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him
who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come" (Rev 22:17).
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Mark 1:36]
Martin Luther declared that he studied the Bible as he gathered
apples. First, he shook the whole tree that the ripest might fall; then
he shook each limb, he shook each branch, every twig; and then he
looked under every leaf. Search the Bible as a whole, shaking the
whole tree. Read it rapidly as you would any other book. Then shake
every limb - study it book by book. Then shake every branch, giving
attention to the chapters when they do not break the sense. Then shake
each twig, by a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences. You
will be rewarded if you will look under each leaf, by searching the
meaning of the words. [The Christian Fundamentalist]
At the age of seven, I wanted to know whether or not God was
real. Confused because one of my parents believed in God and one
didn't, I was forced to figure it out for myself. After I confided in my
mom about how I felt, she opened the Bible to Jeremiah 29 and read
several verses. The last one caught my attention and caused me to ask
her how one can seek God. As she reread verse 12, I began to realize
that I could search for God by praying to him and he would reveal
himself to me.
Mom and I decided to track my prayer requests by writing each
one down on a paper flower. I began to see God working! I stuck the
request-answered flowers on the ceiling above my bed, where I could read and
reread them. After just a few weeks, my ceiling garden had grown to
more than twenty flowers, including one that read, "I want to know
Still, once in a while I find I have drifted from God's
presence and can't "see" him clearly. So I'm continually looking for new
ways to discipline myself to stick close to his side. My growing
garden proves that the many struggles - big and small - that he allows
in my life serve to remind me to keep seeking his face.
Becky Meyer, of Down to Earth Ministries, is a youth speaker
and writer. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely
obsessed by the presence of God. If we are obsessed by God, nothing else
can get into our lives - not concerns, tribulation, nor worries. To
be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all
the assaults of the enemy. [In His Time; My Utmost For His Highest
If you will seek the Lord and be converted every day; if you
will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God; if with
gladsome consent of heart to His gracious call you come wearing the yoke
of Christ, - the yoke of obedience and service, - all your
murmurings will be stilled, all your difficulties will be removed, all the
perplexing problems that now confront you will be solved. MB101
RELATED SCRIPTURE FOR STUDY
Matthew 6:24 (NKJV) "No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 9:62 (NKJV) But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his
hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV) I love those who love me, And those who
seek me diligently will find me.
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor (new series!):
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: