Sunday, June 24, 2018

A bright future

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 26-29; Psalm 20

 "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
If you've been around church or Christians for a while, you've probably heard someone quote the verse above. Perhaps you've read or recited it to yourself, maybe in a time you felt confused, directionless, or discouraged for some reason.

It is interesting to come across it in context. We discover these words are part of a letter Jeremiah wrote to people who were being punished. They were former Jerusalem dwellers who the Babylonians had taken captive.

These words assured the exiles back then, and us now, that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, God's intentions toward us are good. His ways in our lives move us toward a bright future.

But that future seems contingent on some actions on our part — actions that no doubt arise out of our confusion, difficulties and troubles: "Call upon Me...go and pray to Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

A sidebar article in my Bible says about these verses;

"Implied in this passage is a quest for God that includes a level of intensity beyond what might be termed ordinary prayer. The word 'search' along with the phrase "with all your heart" suggests an earnestness that borders on desperation" Dick Eastman, "Seeking God and Spiritual Warfare," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 999.

I am reminded of other passages that speak of our search: Hosea 6:3; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:7-8.

There is no question: I want that hopeful future God has in mind for me. No doubt you do too. So let's do what it takes to get it, in terms of praying, seeking and searching to find, not a bright career or a satisfying human relationship, or power, or wealth, but Him.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for all the ways You draw me to Yourself — even using problems, difficulties and punishment to accomplish Your plans in my life. May these things drive me to seek You with all my heart.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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