“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
Wow, what a beautiful promise, right? You’ve probably seen this verse stitched into pillows, hanging in frames on kitchen walls, and decorating the tops of graduation caps.
But when the Israelites heard this promise from God, they weren’t embarking on a fun new chapter of life — They had just been exiled into a foreign land, being ruled by a foreign nation as punishment for their sins. Not quite as cheery, huh?
The truth is, this setting actually makes God’s promise that much sweeter. The Israelites had done it again — they’d forgotten all that God had done for them and had started worshipping the gods of the nations around them. Their punishment was just, and God could have left them in exile forever. But instead, He promises them that He still thinks peacefully toward them, wanting to give them a hope and a future.
Isn’t that such a great promise? That even when we rebel against God for the thousandth time, if we are truly God’s children who trust in Christ’s death and resurrection for our forgiveness, God still wants us! He never tires of us and throws us away. His unconditional love truly has no strings attached, and He wants us to return to Him time after time no matter how often we fall.
PRAYER: Wow, God, what a joy to know that you love me so strongly. Thank you for your relentless love that is so patient and kind to me. Please forgive me for sinning against you, especially when I turn to other idols in my life that try to replace you on the throne of my heart. Guide me as I repent and return to you, and thank you for welcoming me back with open arms each and every time.