11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.
Over the years I have collected many Bibles. Eight of them sit within the view of my chair as I ponder this text. From King James to RSV, to NIV and now The Message; they are all a part of my collection. One was a gift from my grandmother, and another was given to me by my childhood church. Others were gifts from my brother, (some of which have my name(s) in gold lettering embossed on the covers), who always included either an index card or a bookplate with a passage for me to read, ponder and pray with. There are a number of different passages that he shared with me over the years. One of those passages quickly became my favorite, Jeremiah 29:11-13.
Often throughout my life, and mostly in reference to my career, I turned to Jeremiah, trusting that God had a plan for my future. During the past year, this passage has meant even more to me, because it was that promise of hope and a future that I needed to help me through a very difficult time in my personal life. God’s plan isn’t always what we thought it was going to be, but God’s plan is always best, even if we don’t understand it at the time. We know that God is working through every event in our lives. We need to realize that God’s plan is not always the easiest in our eyes, but it is always the best.
If God has a plan for our future and has promised to be with us through the journey, then all we really need to do is to trust in his assurance of hope and a future by seeking Him with all our hearts. We can then fully embrace His promise and a future filled with hope!
Loving God, give us faith during the times we’re weary, discouraged, confused and uncertain. Inspire us to trust in your great hope-filled promise. Please give us courage when our faith wavers. Thank you for giving us this gift of hope and a bright future in Jesus. Amen.