For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
“God is so good and faithful!” That is the text I sent after hearing the good news about a doctor’s report. Would I have sent the same text had the results been bad? Wouldn’t it still be the same God? Why do I only consider Him “good and faithful” when it’s the news I want? Sometimes when I consider the news to be bad, it is actually when God is being the most faithful and good to me.
I wonder if the apostle thought Jesus was still “good and faithful” when He laid in the tomb? If Jesus had not died on the cross to be risen up three days later, we would have no “good news” to share.
Jeremiah 29:11 is such a familiar and comforting passage, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you," says the Lord, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I have always loved this verse, but do you notice it doesn’t say anything about a pain free, easy, no problem life? Actually, it was written to the Israelites when they were about to go through a hard time of 70 years waiting on God. It tells us that God the Father THINKS about me…about you! He wants us to have a life of peace, a future, and a hope.
1. Peace, in the midst of our life and all that comes to us. By Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, only He can give us peace. John 14:27 - “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
2. A future, not just a future in 5, 15, or even 50 years. He gives us an eternal future. Jesus is right this moment preparing a place for each one of us who trust in Him. A special place just for you! This place isn’t close to Him or down the road, but it is in HIS FATHER’S HOUSE! John 14:2 - “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
3. Hope, not just for eternity, but also for right now, for today. I think I know what’s good for me but God knows what’s best for me. Am I willing to trust Him even when I don’t get the answer I really wanted? Even when the answer is hard and painful? I Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
What if the answers we didn’t like were actually protecting us from something worse or even preparing us for something better?
Sometimes I think of all that God has promised: peace that is beyond human understanding; hope that is better than I could ever imagine, and a future to spend eternity with God. In the light of these promises, then why do I struggle when life seems too hard and the trials seem too much?
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this season and all the joy and gladness it means, remember that first Jesus had to endure the cross for you and me. We can trust Him regardless of what comes our way.
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Action item |
When you are going through hard times, do what Jesus did…”draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly enduring the cross so that I can spend eternity in heaven. Help me to understand that everything that comes into my life has gone through my Father’s hands; the same hands that created me and everything in this world. I thank you, in Jesus name.
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