I was reading this morning in Jeremiah when I came across a well known scripture, and for the first time in my life studied it in context. Jeremiah 29:11 is a very famous scripture “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.” There are many other quotables in this chapter, but this one is very famous.
What jumped out at me was the context that God was saying this in. He was telling His people before this that they were about to be in exile, in a strange place for a few more years, and when 70 years was up God would come back and fulfill his promise. Everything in Life and creation speaks to us of the glory of Christ and the result of our sin.
Growing in Christ and in the fruits of the spirit will be a process where we have to take the good with the bad, Patience doesn’t come without the opportunity to be patient, steadfastness doesn’t come without a trial that calls for it, Joy doesn’t come only when things are hunky dory!
God knows the plans He has for us, this was an encouragement to a people who were under oppression and living in a strange land, if you have ever felt alone or unworthy in your faith, to be a Christian or follow Christ, know that the only thing good in us is Jesus, and He has plans for our lives that are greater than we can imagine. Thank you God for what I see as the good and the bad.