Jesus spoke these words at the time He was to be tried and crucified. He knew that it was not going to be pleasant, but instead of running away, He turned to God. Christ saw the bigger picture of His sacrifice, and that is what kept Him going. In our lives, we should also look at the bigger picture that God has for us.
God has a purpose and plan for you. His plans are sure, true, and faithful. This doesn’t mean that you will never experience problems or trials in life, but you do have an eternal future in Christ spiritually. God’s plan for you is to prosper and grow spiritually in Christ in the very situation you are in right now.
God’s plans for you are sure.
God’s plans for you are great.
We all make plans in life regarding the future. Don’t we? But not all of our plans work out the way we want. We become influenced by people, circumstances, and opportunities. We all make choices both good and bad and they can influence weather we succeed with our plans or not. I must note however that the plans we make are based on our limited knowledge and often with self-interest in mind and can change as our interests or circumstances change.
‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord. 10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”’ (Jeremiah 29:4-14, NIV).
Gods plans for you are sure. They do not change. His plans for you are great.
Israel’s choices had an effect on their future. It did not matter what they had planned; or the choices they made; Gods plan for them would not change. His plan was sure.
God used Nebuchadnezzar to bring about a situation in the lives of the Israelites to bring them to a point of crying out to God once again. God used the Israelites’ time in Babylon for their good; so that the Israelites would cry out to God once more and turn back to God. Rebellion and sin have consequences.
Both the Old and New Testaments reveal God’s love and promise of a hope and future for those who are faithful and call out to the Lord. God does not stop us from making bad decisions. He does not turn His back on us forever, even if we have turned our backs to Him.
God’s plan for you is not to harm you but to give you a hope and future. That hope and future is for all who seek God and call on the name of the Lord.
No one knows the future. Each of us make plans without knowing what tomorrow brings. But that does not mean that we should not make plans. Instead we should consider our plans in light of God’s plan. Plan’s you make and decisions made by others can have an effect on your life and future plans.
The fact of the matter is, your plans can hit a road block because of unforeseen events, mistakes, or choices to rebel and sin. That road block, that bondage, that spiritual exile—they may be God’s way of getting your attention and the situation you need to reconsider your plan and to turn back to the Lord and His plan for your life.
Take time to consider where your plans are taking you compared to what God desires for you.
“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
I do not believe the Israelites or people today intentionally want to forget the Lord. It is just that sin and selfish desires cloud our hearts and spiritual vision. Truth is, because of the Israelite’s choices and rebellion toward God, He allowed other nations to rise up and take the Israelites captive. The time of captivity and exile that the Israelites experienced was not to hurt or destroy the Israelites; but rather to place them in a position so they would lift their eyes to heaven and seek God once again.
Many people focus on verse 11: ‘“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.”’ And they think God does not care about them when some trouble comes their way. When in fact it is quite the opposite. Many times we cannot understand what God is doing.
This verse is not intended to give you the idea that the Lord will keep you from ever being tested or from having a future without difficulty. It is not a verse that implies that you will not experience physical harm, sickness, relational troubles, employment layoffs or any number of circumstances that can come against you in this life. Rather, this is a word that is speaking of spiritual blessings and plans of God that are greater than any physical blessing and future here on Earth. It is a word that speaks of a hope and a future that the people of God (the Christian) can have in Christ.