“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
This familiar passage provides great confidence. Think about it! God has great plans for our lives. He wants to prosper us and not to harm us. God is working to give us hope and a certain future. But do you know the context of this passage?
This promise was written to God’s people in exile. Because of their sin, God had allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take them from Jerusalem to Babylon. They were living in an unfamiliar land under the authority of a pagan king. The people of Israel were experiencing the results of rejecting the one true God and following other gods. They were living out the consequences of their sin. Yet right in the middle of their exile, God reminds them that He is not through with them. The discipline is not for harm but for restoration. In exile, the people would finally turn back to God. And when they did, God heard their prayers. When they sought Him, they found Him.
Maybe you are living in the results of your sin today. You are experiencing the self-inflicted wounds of rebellion. You feel alone and forgotten. You feel that God is done with you. But He isn’t done with you! Today’s passage teaches us that God never gives up on us. Right in the middle of sin’s consequences, He has plans for us. His intent is never to harm but to bring us back to the land of spiritual prosperity. He wants us to turn back to Him, call on Him, and pray to Him. God promises to hear our cries. And He promises that when we seek Him with a sincere heart, we will find Him waiting for us with open arms. God is not finished with you!
Father, thank You for not giving up on me. Thank You for discipline that turns my heart back to You. Thank You for hearing my cries. Thank You for open arms of forgiveness and restoration. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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