I’m familiar with the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11, where God speaks about His plans for our lives and the good thoughts that He has towards us, but recently I was reading the story around this verse just to remind myself why God was saying that.
This story is all about children of Israel being in exile in Babylon, where God had allowed them to be taken, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.
The Lord told the children of Israel, through the prophet, that they would be in captivity to the king of Babylon for seventy years. After those seventy years, He would visit the people and keep His promise to them by bringing them back from captivity. What struck me in this story was the fact that the Lord told the children of Israel, who were in exile, to build the houses for themselves, to plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. He also told them to take wives for their sons and husbands for their daughters. The Lord told them to multiply in that land, but, more than that, the Lord asked them to seek peace and welfare of the city to which they were carried away captive (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
I find this story fascinating. Can you imagine being sent away in exile for seventy years, without any chance of going back home any earlier than that, and being told to do all these things. Basically, God was telling them to settle in Babylon for those seventy years, and embrace the situation they were in.
How many times do we find ourselves in a difficult situation, which might last for quite a long time? We might be paying for a mortgage, or the education of our children. That can bring financial strain on our life. Or it could be that we want to see healing in our life, but it’s taking a long time to see the complete healing. No matter what it is, I believe God wants us to accept the situation we’re in, and make the most of it, like the children of Israel in exile.
He wanted them to continue living their lives, continue multiplying, and continue praying for the welfare of that city. In other words, God didn’t want them to complain about the situation they were in, and, when the time was right, He would intervene, and bring the freedom they were all waiting for.
I want to encourage you, no matter what situation you’re in today, choose to be grateful to the Lord. Choose to have a good attitude towards that which you’re facing, and that which God is doing in your life. Bless the people who are part of that situation, and pray for them. When the time’s right, God won’t delay in bringing His answer to your situation. Doesn’t He know the plans He has for us better than we do; the plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank You for the plans You have for me to give me hope and a future. Today I choose, Lord, to praise You, no matter what the circumstances in my life are, because You deserve the honour and the praise, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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