Saturday, March 07, 2009
Hope and a Future
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By Ramone - March 4, 2009
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,This is a very, very popular Bible verse which a lot of people love and hold onto. However I don't think many of us are really aware of or think deeply about the context: God spoke these words through Jeremiah to the people of Judah who had just been taken captive to Babylon. In the same breath God told His people that they would stay there in exile for 70 years because they had broken His old covenant with them.
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11
So think about that: These words weren't just a promise for a good, happy, successful future or fulfilling life. These words were spoken to people who had just lost everything, and by force, no less. And they had lost these things because they had royally screwed up, too. Yet through all of this loss (and discipline for many of them), God was telling them that He didn't want to harm them. He wanted to love them and give them hope and a future. But they wouldn't "come home" until after 70 years, yet when they did it would be greater than the greatest glory that "home" had ever had before.
Maybe you might have lost things. Maybe you even lost things because it was somehow your fault (or maybe it wasn't your fault). Nevertheless, even at this point with your life destroyed in front of you, God speaks these words:
"I love you, have a future planned for you, and I never wanted to harm you or leave you hopeless. I will bring you to that future, even though it may seem like a long time to you. You may have lost what you thought was everything, but I am going to give you life fulfilling, a kind of prospering that goes beyond what you thought was everything. The road is here at your feet. Come, and I will lead you by the hand and will never leave you. Let's go."*****
See also: "Embrace Oppression" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)