Most people know the verse Jeremiah 29:11. What most people don’t think about is the context in which it was written. Jeremiah was prophesying this in the midst of Israel being taken captive. Jeremiah is actually referred to as ‘the weeping prophet’ because his message from God to the people is pretty heart wrenching at times, in a lot of different ways actually.
Jeremiah is calling Israel to turn their hearts back to the Lord, to repent from her idolatry and worship the One True God. …They don’t. So, God takes extravagant measures to turn their hearts back to Himself. Not because He’s mean, not because He needs it. It’s only because He loves His people and wants what is best for them.
Captivity for 70 years definitely sounds like fun, right?! No, not really, but God used this time to cultivate a heart in His people so that would turn back to Him. Now, Israel going into captivity was not God’s perfect will. Captivity was not what He intended for His people, but they refused to worship Him and to keep His law. God takes our stubbornness and disobedience and uses it to turn our hearts and our eyes back to Him. God turns all of our ashes into beauty.
“..He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…” Isaiah 61:3
So, even though what we go through may be terrible, and we seemingly have no control over it, He is sill with us. He hears when we pray, and when we seek Him with our whole heart we will find Him. That is our promise. His Word is truth & it is firm ground for us to stand on. Sometimes we need to stop and take inventory of our heart, whether we are operating from a place of faith in Him or faith in what we are seeing and experiencing around us.
As Christ followers our perspective should always be, ‘This is who my God is and this is what His Word says, so then this is true about this circumstance’. Our perspective should never be, ‘This is happening in my life and these are my experiences, so then this must be true about God’.
As believers our foundation for everything has to come from a place so secure and trusting in who He is & that His Word is true that nothing can shake that. Unfortunately we live in a broken world, with broken people. That was not God’s plan. But He had a plan from the foundation of the world to bring us back to Him, Jesus.
How can we bring the redemptive power and love to a broken people when we can’t even resolve in ourselves that His Word is true and we will not be shaken? So, I challenge you to let Jesus cement Himself and His word on the inside of you. Let His redemptive work do its work! Let Him change you through the renewing of your mind every day. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s actually not the easy way. The easy way would be to listen and give into the world around you.
It is a much harder thing to stand firm and believe His Word, yet it is much more rewarding. Will you reap the reward of a race run well?
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24