Jeremiah 29 vs. 11, “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”
Oh how I love that verse. In earlier days after finding Christ, anytime I didn’t get what I wanted from God, when I wanted it, I would use this verse to encourage myself that it will come just how I want it because as the verse said “….plans to prosper you….” I would read that and be encouraged after all, what I wanted was all that mattered (now I can’t believe I had that mindset). For a couple of days or even weeks, I would be the ‘most righteous’ Christian chick out there, singing and praising like no man’s business, with the belief that ok, now very soon the thing I wanted so bad will come through after all …”plans to prosper me”. Whatever I wanted at the time in my mind was just the thing to make me prosper. Days, weeks, even months will go by with me keeping the ‘faith’, but I still didn’t get what I wanted. So I will go and read that verse one more time, then couple it with what Jesus said, if we humans give the best to our children how much more the Father? You know the verse….Mathew 7:10 “if you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”. Putting those two passages together, I will be encouraged to push on a little further.
In the end, sometimes I will get what I want, sometimes I won’t. When I don’t, get whatever it is I thought would make me prosper I will sulk and not pray for days, but just like the prodigal son (well daughter in this case), I will find my way back to Him. Why? Because another need has presented itself- you know we humans are constantly in want of one thing or the other. In times like this I tend to forget all the good things He has already done, the fact that I’m alive, healthy, have a job, a roof over my head, a family, can walk, see, hear, taste, smell and other numerous blessings often taken for granted.
Sometimes we forget to praise Him ANYWAY, in the midst of whatever we are going through or whatever it is we want and haven’t yet received. The story of Job is a very popular one; it tells us how a man though stricken with all kinds of adversity, unwarranted for that matter stuck strong to his faith, refusing to curse God regardless of what He is going through. I’m quite sure that any of us going through adversity will not actually ‘curse’ God but I’m certain that we will, just like I used to do…push Him to the curb or just sulk till we get over whatever it is we are trying to get over, then we are back again wanting more, – a never ending cycle of fickleness-#realtalk.com#. Job’s response to his wife’s demand that he curse God and die in Job 2: 10 was that if we rejoice with God in the good then why we can’t do it in the bad. Being a wonderful Father, He knows what is best for us, Jeremiah 29vs11 says He knows the plans He has for us, not the plans we have for ourselves, but the promise is we shall prosper and have hope for the future. I’m also reminded of Hannah who stayed steadfast and kept the faith year after year of not getting what she wanted- a child.
The ‘big’ question is how do we conduct ourselves in the meantime? Before we come to our ‘promised land’ how do we act? Do we act flaky like the people of Israel before they entered the Promised Land, letting every wind of adversity sway us to the left or right, or do we stand firm like Job and Hannah? Knowing that HE is the I AM that I AM, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the ever knowing God who commanded the universe be formed with just spoken word. Job had everything but God took it away and despite pressure from friends and family he stood firm and steadfast believing in the Lord his God. Hannah didn’t have that child yet but she trusted in God with the knowledge that someday her prayer would be answered,
Ok yes , we haven’t gotten that job, that husband, that contract, that promotion, that house, that child, or whatever it is that you are waiting for or going through…..God sees and HE knows, just as He told Jeremiah in 1:5,“before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…….” your plan and His plan just might not be the same or it isn’t time for the plan to come to pass. The challenge is for us to be steadfast and hold on seeking, praising and thanking Him wholeheartedly while we are in our meantime.