“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
This is an often used verse to pronounce hope and blessing upon people. Many a high school and college student has been handed a graduation card with these verses tucked somewhere within. Missing are the verses before and after which talk about Israel’s seventy year captivity in Babylon. They reveal the ultimate outcome for the good of Israel, but are sandwiched within information of great difficulty and not instantaneous trouble free blessing.
Perhaps that makes them all the more valuable, though, for those willing to tarry a bit longer within the story. Sometimes we are quick to overlook the many hardships referred to in the Bible that accompany the promises for those who choose to serve Christ. Should we anticipate them, fear them, deny them, or attempt to build a theology free of difficulty? If we do, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment.
I believe we are safe to conclude this earth life will be challenging and in need of God’s grace and provision to withstand its challenges. To the wholehearted seeker of God who trusts and stands in shadow of his goodness, they will be recipients of God’s future which ultimately and most certainly is one of inexpressible good hope.
O Lord my God I seek you today with all my heart. You have said those who seek you will find you. There is no one I long for like you, for there is no one who is like you. You are my hope, my future, my portion, and my treasure. Amen.