Monday, 14 March 2021
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” -Jeremiah 29:11 [The MSG]
The Book of Jeremiah was written to a stiff-necked and stubborn people of Judah, who due to their disobedience incurred the wrath of God that led to 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Our text is a letter that Jeremiah writes to the captives assuring them that God has not forgotten them and that even in their captivity God has a plan for them. There are “downhill” seasons in our lives, of difficulty, pain, suffering, loneliness, etc. This can be on account of our disobedience (like people of Judah) or a refining God does in us for His glory. Whatever the cause, He wants us to remember He has a better plan for us.
What’s our response at such times? How will our lives honour God even when things are in shambles? Hear what Jeremiah has to tell us:
Understand that God is the one who has orchestrated this captivity[ Jer 29:4]
Ps.37: 23 says, “The steps of the righteous are ordered by God.” Nothing ever happens in the life of a child of God without His knowledge. So instead of complaining, “WHY GOD?,” lets yield ourselves to Him as He is in control even when we are not. He will make a way out so that we can stand up under it. [1 Cor. 10:13]
He expects us to work and be productive during our captivity [ Jer 29:5-6]
The people of Judah were asked to continue to plant and harvest, build and increase even in the most unconducive place. What is the lesson? God expects us not to drown in self-pity but rise up and build ourselves even in our difficult times. History stands as witness of the growth of the church through times of persecution. Nothing could stop God’s army from marching forward with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1Peter 5:9 [paraphrased]: resist the devil, stand firm in your faith knowing that all of your brothers across the world are facing the same suffering and God will pull us out of this suffering in a little while. If you are in such a season, is this not a great assurance?
He expects us to be peacemakers [ Jer 29:7]
Here the prophet is encouraging God’s people not to harbour anger against their captors but rather pray for them so that they would enjoy the peace which in turn would result in a blessing for God’s people. Now that’s a hard task to practice. As Christ’s followers, He showed us through His life that it is possible! Through His life in us, we can! He has sent us as peacemakers into this world. So today what would you call yourself? -A bridge-builder or a bridge burner?
He warns us not to be deceived [Jer 29:8-9]
It's quite normal to find people running to men and women of God hoping to find some answer to their current situation. It was the same during Judah’s captivity. Many prophets mushroomed to prophesy things contrary to God’s Word spoken through His prophet. We too are living in such times. Jesus says, “In the end times many will come in his name to mislead many.” (Matt 24:5)Paul warns us in 2 Tim 4:3&4 that people will no longer want to hear sound doctrine, but will gather around people to listen to what they would like to hear [ paraphrased]. What is that you love to hear?
It only when we obey these commands of the Lord will we see His plan unfold in our lives.
He will listen to us when we pray (V 12)
Find Him when we search for Him with all our heart. (V13)
Be delivered from our captivity (V14)
Our future is secure in HIM!
Quote for the day: “You may feel lost and alone, but God knows exactly where you are, and he has a good plan for your life.” ~ Anon
Listen: ‘I Know the plans I have you’