God’s Plan For You

Years ago, I emphasized God’s Word to Jeremiah to the people of our church. Jeremiah 29:11 is certainly one of the most encouraging and hopeful passages of Scripture. Jeremiah wrote to the exiles from Jerusalem who had been forced to live in Babyon: “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.” God promised they would know Him and would experience Him. They would seek Him and find Him when they sought Him with all their heart. The result would be God’s great work to gather them and take them back to the land of promise.

The secret of this passage is understanding the context of this great verse. God spoke his word of hope to a people without hope and, in their way of thinking, without a future. In the midst of their despair, God spoke His wonderful message of hope.

In 598 BC, eleven years before the total destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Babylon took 10,000 captives from Jerusalem to Babylon. Those captives had hopes of an early return. In fact, they had (false) prophets among them who prophesied in the name of the Lord that Babylon would fall within two years. God instructed the true prophet Jeremiah to write a letter to the exiles. Jeremiah 29 contains the story and text of that letter.

God told the people to make the most of their situation. They were to do all the things that normal people would do–plant vineyards, build houses, start a family. Jeremiah assured the exiles that God would be with them and bless them. At the completion of 70 years, God promised to lead the exiles out of Babylon. He promised the people hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 shows the character of God. He works for our good even when we can’t see any good. He has our eternal best interest at heart.

God doesn’t forget, doesn’t quit, and doesn’t give up. He provides hope and a future when life is at its worst.

God is the same today. He never changes. His goodness, kindness, and mercies are eternal.

Though life may be getting you down, let God’s promise lift you up. Call upon Him and seek Him with all your heart. He wants to be found by you.

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4 Comments


  1. Ed Matthew
    May 27, 2012

    AMEN!


  2. Jeff Burns
    May 27, 2012

    Amazing. . . The very text I am sharing with our graduates during the AM service. Great stuff, thank you!!


    • Waylon
      May 27, 2012

      Thanks. It is a wonderful promise for the people of God.


  3. Ed Matthew
    May 27, 2012

    Now that most have read our hopes and prayers which you shared, I will share my opinion: Jeremiah in this letter has likely come to terms that he’ll never see those plans for him or God’s people this side of eternity. Faithfulness is a reputation Jeremiah had well earned!

    29:17 “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like poor figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. (18) I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth and an object of cursing and horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. (19) For they have not listened to my words, words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either.”

    God’s plans and our actions of attitude make a difficult time table of consequences; or perhaps not.

    Sounds like God is pretty consistent to me regarding His people which are called by His Name. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Like-minded? “It’s too late when were a ghost!” Romans 12 implores, begs, us to understand our obligation and methodology to achieve His Design to fulfill His Plans. Where the Church fails, the world will prosper its evil. Will it not?

    29:13-14a “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity…”

    Here, I am Lord…

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)