When life gets hard and dreams fail, I need to know God has a plan—a plan that is good and full of hope. There are days when I cling to the assurance that this life isn’t all there is. That pain will end, love will conquer evil, and the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will completely defeat all that maims and destroys.
In those moments God’s promise recorded in Jeremiah 29:11 and spoken to the Israelites so long ago comforts me. I imagine it did them as well.
As God’s chosen people they’d really blown it. Under King David and his successor Solomon—the nation’s second and third kings—the people had flourished. But after Solomon’s death, idolatry replaced devotion to God and evil reigned. After nearly three hundred years of warnings, judgment had come. Babylon attacked, prevailed, took the Jews captive, and carted them off far from their beloved homeland.
The Israelites had lost everything, perhaps even the will to begin again.
They’d made stupid choices, behaved shamefully, and were experiencing the full consequences of their actions. If only they’d listened to the prophets who’d urged them to repent again and again. If only they’d turned to God when given the chance—then perhaps they’d still be in Jerusalem where God’s temple once stood tall and glorious and God’s presence dwelled among them.
They may have felt all was lost, but through an ancient prophet named Jeremiah, God promised that wasn’t true. God met them at their point of despair and told them He still had a plan for them—a good, loving plan.
God says the same to us. No sin is too dark, no life too broken for God to redeem and restore.
~ Jennifer Slattery