For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
History and Context:
On Thursday I wrote a little bit about the history and context of Jeremiah. As I wrote there, Jeremiah was constantly prophesying destruction, but he also constantly prophesied hope. This is another example of that.
Verse eleven is a very popular scripture for people to quote. It reminds us that God has good plans for our future. It is also good though to read the scripture in context. Understand who Jeremiah was talking to and what the entire prophecy is. God, through Jeremiah, is still saying that the people of Judah will go into captivity in Babylon. In other words, they still have to suffer the consequences of their years of sin. Then God reminds them that He has good plans for them, but they still must do something in order to return to these plans. They must call upon God and seek Him with all their heart! If they never do this, they will never see the plans of hope and future that God has for them. But once they call upon Him, God promises to bring them out of captivity and to gather them back together as a people. This is what we read happening in Ezra and Nehemiah.
Call upon the Lord! If you are in trouble, just call upon Him. Seek Him! Many of our problems wouldn't even be here if we would simply seek Him continually. But then after you seek Him don't be suprised if you still have to go through a tough time. God's mercy is great, but there are still consequences for our sin and sometimes we have to deal with that for a while. But know that God is with you and has a plan to bring you out of that captivity. A plan to "prosper you and not to harm you". Just continue to call upon Him!
Lord, I thank you that you do have a plan to prosper me! Forgive me for trying to follow my own plan. I call upon you to come and bring my life on track with your plan. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!