June with Jeremiah: words of encouragement


June 12, 2015

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. He knows the plans He has for me- plans to prosper me, not to harm me, plans for hope and a future. Reassuring! Promise! Restoration!

This verse is even more powerful now that we know more about Jeremiah. Jeremiah faced monumental challenges- he wasn’t a prophet on easy street that sort of walked along in a long robe and shared wisdom and this amazing verse. No, Jeremiah had a very different role. His mission was difficult and the people he was trying to reach were resistant at best. He had been beaten, put in the stocks and left there for days, mocked, ridiculed, threatened, and oppressed; but here he is still encouraging, still preaching, and sharing this beautiful verse despite his own challenging circumstances.

Jeremiah shares this verse in a letter he writes to the captives in Babylon. He writes to encourage them and comfort them. And this verse, Jeremiah 29:11, has been encouraging Christians ever since.

And it just keeps getting better. Jeremiah 29:12 says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” He hears our prayers. When we call on Him and pray to Him, He listens. He has good plans for us and He is listening to our prayers.

Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We find Him when we give all of our heart. We can’t have one foot in Christianity and the other in idol-mania. Seek Him first. When we give Him our whole heart (hopes, fears, joy, anxiety- the whole thing), then we will find Him, the One who has good plans for us, the One who is listening.

Jeremiah 29:14 says “ I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” Notice who is doing the “finding” here- it’s US. God has not moved. We have moved. When we find Him, He will bring us back from captivity. Back from the oppression of our sins, our shortcomings, and the trappings of the world and on to the path of freedom.

This is Amazing Grace!

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