“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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:11-13
I am a firm believer in divine destiny — that God in His love and His wisdom and foreknowledge has a plan and a purpose for every person who has ever walked on the face of the earth. That plan, I believe is a good plan. In fact, it’s an excellent plan. No, it’s a perfect plan! It’s a plan that God has personally designed to bring us into a life of joy, peace and happiness — holiness, righteousness and purity — for this life and the life to come through the Lord Jesus Christ. I am also a firm believer that we can mess up God’s purpose for our lives and never fully realize the perfect plan He has for us. God in His mercy, however, never stops working in our behalf, no matter how bad we mess it up. The Scriptures tell us, “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and His love will not allow Him to quit on us, even when we may quit on Him.
The nation of Judah, to whom this was addressed, had failed God. But God had made His people a promise, even in the midst of their rebellion. “I know the plans I have for you . . .” The apostle Peter said it like this in the New Testament, “After you’ve suffered for a little while, I’m going to restore, establish and strengthen you” (1 Peter 5:10).We’ve all failed God at times and we have spent time in exile because of it. Let’s admit it, we have not always given our best to Him and we have not received His best as a people or as a church. We have not loved Him with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind (Matthew 22:36). But even in the midst of our part-time rebellion, God wants us to know that His promises remain the same. God desires for us to be in His plan, a plan of prosperity and hope and a future in Him.
What will be the result when we totally return to Him? First, we’ll become a people of serious prayer. It will become second nature to us to pray about everything. Second, we’ll become a people who turn to God about everything — a people whose hearts are always seeking after Him, who will never be satisfied until they find Him. Third, we’ll be a people who truly love one another as He has loved us. And then — and only then will the world know that we really, truly and totally belong to Jesus Christ and then they’ll want what we have.
Let’s give our best to God today, tomorrow and the next day and watch His plan continue to unfold in your life. Maranatha!