Understanding “For I know the plans I have for you”


‘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 a hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11


The bible is about you. But it’s not all about you.


Be assured, the Word of God IS applicable to your life. But it really about God, the history – His Story – of love and redemption, the story of who God is and how He reveals Himself to us and through us. It is indeed the unfolding of His great plan to save the world for His glory.


When we inscribe this ‘famous’ verse from the book of Jeremiah onto every greeting card, let’s think about what it means.


One interpretation could say, whatever problem you are facing, don’t worry. Got cancer? No worries; God will heal you. Are finances in distress? No problem; God will make it better. Going through a difficult or uncertain chapter of your life? He will ‘prosper’ you with a happy ending. The problem with this interpretation is that Jeremiah 29:11 had nothing to do with our temporary trials.


Jeremiah wrote to Jerusalem exiles who had lost everything! They were condemned to live in a foreign land where they would be exiled for 70 years. Think of it. A 70 year exile meant many of them would die in their plight. For some, their children would die there too. God’s promise of “a hope and a future” was a stamp of assurance that His will would prevail and future generations would prosper from it. It wasn’t a guarantee of the fulfillment of everyone’s personal dreams and ambitions.


Does this mean that God is unaware of or ambivalent to our woes? Absolutely not. God does have a plan for you and it is a good plan for your hope and future. It might not pan out exactly how you would like. Your pain might continue. Your disease might not be healed. Your relationships might not be restored. Your financial house might fall.


But. . .


He is the one who created you, who knows your heart better than you know yourself. He who gave His only Son to rescue us while we were so undeserving of such a gift. God is the author of compassions that are new every morning. It is He who offers us amazing grace and allows His Holy Spirit to live in those who believe in His Son. He is the great promise keeper and truth teller, the one who never abandons us, who strengthens and equips us. It is He who makes you more than a conqueror and who has written your name forever in the Lamb’s Book of Life if you believe in Jesus. Do you think that He who did not spare His own Son would not also give you all things?


God may answer your prayers exactly as you ask. But even if His answer extends beyond your life, He has a plan that give you great hope and a future…a great plan!



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