I’m sure you’ve heard this famous verse from Jeremiah, “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.”
What an awesome promise! We love to hang onto this one and quote it often.
But did you realize that this promise was originally made to the Israelites who had been exiled by God to Babylon? God had let the King of Babylon capture Jerusalem and take the Israelites away from their homes. Right before his promise concerning his good plans for them, God told Israel through Jeremiah that they would be in exile for 70 years.
This meant that many of them would die in Babylon – never going back to Jerusalem.
God said he would come and bring them home after these 70 years and then he goes on with this famous verse, “For I know the plans I have for you……”
The Israelites had been ripped away from the homes they had expected to live in for the rest of their lives. They were now living in a foreign land – exiled.
Do you ever feel like you have been exiled?
The life I expected to live was suddenly snatched away from me when my son was killed in the line of duty three years ago. My world has changed so drastically that sometimes it feels like I am now living in a foreign land. I’m exiled from the life I expected to live.
And today, God is saying to me – and maybe to you – that I will continue to live in this foreign place until he comes to take me home. While I’m here, he has plans for me. He is giving me hope and a purpose.
After his initial, famous promise, God gives me more promises. He tells me that when I pray, he will listen. When I diligently look for him, I will find him.
I know God always keeps his promises – that’s a fact. I have discovered that reading his Word, absorbing what he is saying to me and trusting him gives me the strength and hope I need for each day as I live out the rest of my days here in exile.
Thank you, Abba Father.