“I know the plans I have for you”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
If John 3:16 is the most popular Bible verse I’ve ever heard spoken and written, then Jeremiah 29:11 is the second. But just like John 3:16 is so often taken dangerously out of the context of the Bible in its entirety, so also is Jeremiah 29:11. Most people may not know Jeremiah 29:11 by its scripture reference, but instead by its seeming message. God knows the plans He has for us, and they are great plans, aren’t they? Ah, but herein lies the danger of taking scriptures out of context. An artist long ago gave me a piece of art with Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on it, hoping to encourage me. Off I trotted with my gift with no understanding whatsoever of the context and message of this verse about God’s great plans for His children.
The prophet Jeremiah is prophesying to the children of Israel, God’s chosen people the Jews, of how He will bring a beautiful end to their story FOR THOSE WHO REPENT AND RETURN TO HIM. What are His people doing now? Enduring the horrific consequences of their rebellion against Him by being in captivity to their enemy. They are amid brutally hard times, and only the REMNANT God will save of those who have rebelled will enjoy His wonderful plans for them at the end. They must NOT listen to the false prophets, and they must call upon Him, pray, seek Him, and search for Him WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS. The non-Jews will ultimately be added to the Jewish remnant through repentance and faith in Christ to become God’s adopted family united in Christ.
I, like many, have through the years made the awful mistake of telling others only part of God’s plans for humanity. The happily-ever-after ending is NOT guaranteed while we are still on earth, for we will face trials through our lives, but is about eternity with God in heaven ONLY for those who are genuinely sorry for their sins, turn away from the world’s ways, and turn their hearts, lives, and ways to the Lord and Bible.
God’s most wonderful plan of all is for us to have a personal relationship with Him now and forever in heaven, BUT this is ONLY for those who will die to themselves and surrender their lives to Him. What does God have in store for those who do not repent and believe in Christ and turn to Him? Hell forever. Do you know the plans God has for you? Don’t place your hope in false promises. Place your trust and life in Christ, and strive daily to bring Him glory and honor in your heart, words, and ways.