If you are waiting for God’s promises to come to pass – just don’t sit there, make the most of where you are. Jeremiah 29:11 is a wonderful promise but it’s often taken out of context. Trust God’s process.
And welcome back to Daily Bible Promises with a Twist. And today, we’re going to be quoting a very famous Bible promise. And we’ll start off by reading the New International Version. Jeremiah 29 11. “I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Plans to give you hope and a future.”
So, let’s read that same passage in the New American Standard Bible. But let’s put it into context. We’re going to start with verse 10 and end with verse 11. “Thus says the Lord, When 70 years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfil my good word to you to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”
So, what’s going on here? God sends a word to the children of Israel who are in exile and he sent it by the prophet Jeremiah. I encourage you to read verse 4 to verse 10 in your own time. I’m not going to read it now because it would take too long. But basically, God is saying to the exiles live a life now.
Plant gardens. Get married. Help your children to get married. Become part of the community that you’re in. Pray for your city that it will prosper because if it prospers you’re going to. Live a good life now. And just don’t sit there and wait to be released from exile.
I feel that Jeremiah 29:11 quoted out of context has done immeasurable harm. Especially when people use it when they’re trying to comfort someone who is going through a very hard season of their life. We need to remember that verse 10 God declares that they’re going to be there for 70 years and then He gives them hope that He will fulfil his promises for the children of Israel.
We don’t know all the things that need to be in place for the promises that God has spoken over our lives to be able to come to full fruition. And if we’re sitting at a proverbial bus stop looking down the road waiting for our bus to come and we’re not doing anything else, we’re going to get exhausted and our hope is going to run out.
So, plant those seeds and see a crop rise up even as you’re waiting for the big picture to unfold. Minister to others, raise up spiritual sons and daughters, expand the borders of your tent. Even if you feel that you are in exile, pray for those around you who you might consider are holding you back from seeing all the promises that God has spoken to you about. Your time in exile does not need to be a miserable place where you’re wearing sackcloth and ashes and playing sad songs on the bank of a river.
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©2018 Katherine Walden
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