Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse in the Old Testament of the Bible. In fact, most Christians have this verse memorized because it bring us so much hope!
I have certainly clung to this verse at many times during my life. I memorized it years ago, and it love it because it reminds me that God only wants the best for me.
As mentioned here several times, I have been using an app as well as a group from my church to read through the entire bible this year. It has been such a blessing in my life. One reason it’s been such a blessing is that Brian, who leads the reading on Daily Audio Bible, shares great insights into our readings everyday.
The other day we read Jeremiah 29. I’ve never read through the entire book of Jeremiah so I don’t really know if I’ve ever read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 29. Brian helped us see more into this verse by encouraging us to look at the verse in the context of the time and what was happening when this verse was written.
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 this verse! However, let me take you into the real story of what is going on. Let’s look at this verse in the context of what is happening to the Hebrews.
Jerusalem has been conquered by the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar is having the people scattered to different places. Families are being torn apart.
Jeremiah is a prophet who is in Jerusalem witnessing all that is going on. He is hearing that false prophets are telling the people to just hold on and it will all be over in a few years and they can then go back home.
Jeremiah writes a letter to the Hebrews with the TRUTH from God. Chapter 29 is this letter. 29:11 is one verse in this chapter/ letter so we need to know everything that comes from God leading up to this wonderful verse. The people receiving this letter have been taken from their homes. They are in great despair trying to understand everything that has happened and wondering what is going to happen.
Jeremiah 29: 4-6
4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
God through Jeremiah is telling His people to “build houses” and “plant gardens.” These verses don’t sound like this will be over any time soon.
Wow- to me this is God saying, “You need to accept your reality. You need to learn to live in your reality. Build your houses, plant your gardens because your reality isn’t going to change any time soon.”
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
In fact, verse 10 God tells them exactly how long they will be in Babylon- 70 years. That’s a lifetime!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly had to come to terms with a reality that I didn’t want. I’ve had to plant gardens in a life that I didn’t plan. I’ve had to build my house for a future that I never wanted.
I had to do these things because God planted wisdom in my soul to know that I would never be happy again if I didn’t choose to live my life in my new reality after my first husband died. I could never move forward in my life if I didn’t accept my reality.
Is there something in your life that you don’t want? Is there something in your life that you didn’t plan? You are not alone. No one’s life goes as planned.
We see in Jeremiah 29 that God wants us to live our lives where we are in the circumstances that have come our way. He lovingly tells us in 29:11 that He does have plans for us- Good Plans, but it will not come in our timing- only in His.
Do you have Jeremiah 29:11 memorized? If not, maybe you should. I still cling to this verse, but it has a whole new meaning for me now. How about you?
As I enter into November and prepare my heart for Thanksgiving, I’m going to plant my garden in my reality and Bloom Where I Am Planted!
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