Updated: Mar 18, 2021
"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. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Je 29:11–13).
Can you imagine finding yourself in a situation where you are held captive with no way of knowing if and when you will be free? Can you imagine being held as a prisoner and losing your freedom?
Maybe that is exactly how you feel. Trapped with no hope in sight.
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
Held captive by your health and wondering if you will ever be well again.
A prisoner to a job where you are mistreated and miserable.
Trapped in unemployment without income and unable to find a job to support your family.
A prisoner of guilt over past choices.
Handcuffed by your bad habits and addictions and unable to get free.
Whether your situation was caused by a disease, circumstances, others, mistakes, or your foolishness, I believe the Lord Jesus wants you to have hope.
The Bible is a book of hope. There are countless stories of people who had no way out, yet God made a way for them. The passage above from Jeremiah is a wonderful example.
The people’s land had been invaded and they had been taken captive to a foreign land. Naturally, they wanted to go home. Some of their religious leaders told them they would be returning to their homeland soon. This gave them hope, but unfortunately, it was false hope.
God told His prophet, Jeremiah, they would be held there a long time, but He promised the day was coming when they would go home.
Jeremiah relayed God’s message to His people. False prophets ridiculed him and more hated him. Leaders made it their mission to shut him up.
It wasn’t the positive message they all wanted so they couldn’t believe it was from God.
But the message was from God. It was the truth. And just like today, we tend to want to deny the hard facts.
Sometimes it is easier to live in denial rather than face the truth.
The message may have been to different people, in a different place, at a different time, but there are timeless truths for us today.
Check this out:
Even with numerous warnings, the people had continued to disobey God
God was amazingly patient, but in time He decided enough was enough
The lives of the people were turned upside down. They lost everything and were being held in a foreign land.
Every day their hearts ached, and they wanted to go home, but they didn’t know if they ever would.
Some lost hope and others believed in false hope.
It was an awful, almost unbearable, situation. Many were losing all hope of ever being home again.
Most of the people had turned from God to idols, but I believe there were likely some who were just carried along with the crowd. Some were in a situation of their own making. Others, like Jeremiah, had remained faithful to God but suffered along with everyone else.
Whatever the reason for their being taken captive, the Lord wanted them to have hope.
And whatever may be the reason for the misery in which you find yourself, God still loves you and wants you to have hope as well.
“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. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Je 29:11–13).
Here are the facts:
God loves you and has plans for you too.
His plans are good.
God wants us to turn away from everything that has distracted us from Him and seek Him with all our hearts.
When we turn to Him and make Him our holy obsession, we will find Him.
Like the people in the story, you may still have a long wait before things get better, but with the Lord Himself as your Hope, your future is secure!
When Christ is our Living Hope, we have a future!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Ro. 8:28).
What can we learn?
The Lord is holy and must be taken seriously.
We all suffer for different reasons.
God is loving and merciful even when we are at our worst.
If we love Him, He becomes our Living Hope and the best is yet to come.
As long as the Lord Jesus Christ is alive, you can have hope!
For more information on His plans for you or your church simply contact us!