People often quote this scripture, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord…” and they stop here. But the verse continues, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope,”(Jeremiah 29:11).
Who was God speaking to and why?
God’s people, who God allowed king Nebuchadnezzar to take in exile/captivity. Captivity is being held as a slave or prisoner.
Something significant despite their captivity, God instructed them to build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their fruits, marry and multiple, seek peace and pray for the city which have you are in exile, and you will have peace… in the midst of this circumstance which I (God) placed you.
I was in a training session a few days ago, and this scripture became the topic of discussion during a therapist and class volunteer interview. There was something significant that the therapist said to the volunteer, who spoke about her faith in God helps her to stay focus during life crisis. She stated that Jeremiah 29:11, is her focal point… although the crisis can be distracting.
The therapist asked the volunteer this, “What would be different if you got a message from God that said I have a plan for you, I can reveal that plan for you and I need this issue or distraction to be part of the plan… trust my plan. “ The volunteer thought for a moment and said, “peace.”
God does not always remove the problem or distraction, and sometimes He place us in situations as He did those in exile. He gives us instruction to endure through the process as He said to those in captivity/exile encouraging them to establish themselves and live normal in the midst of being held captive as slaves.
God warned them there were false prophets and diviners amongst them that will speak messages opposed to God’s plan…but do not listen to them, He had not sent them.
God gave them hope and a future they would not remain in that condition and He kept His promise.
The therapist asked the volunteer this final question: “In your life if you think about the trust you have in God rather than the issue or distraction…” what would be different? The volunteer responded again, “peace.”
The therapist ended with this, “Can you walk in your gifts and callings despite the storms? If God has called me to walk in this issue or distraction, every time I wish it to be gone, I’m going against my calling…”
Wow! I thought, God help me to recognize and remind myself in the midst of distraction, I must stay focused on your plan for my life, You are my peace in the midst of storms…distractions…