I want to know the plans God has for my future! I am sure you do as well. Let’s dig into this passage to gain some insight into how we might discover the great question of, “what is the plan for my life?”
Before we begin, I want to address an important study method. It is easy to interpret the Bible the way we want to. God declares in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” If you want to discover the plan God has for your life, submitting to His ways is step one. Therefore, it is essential to read the Scriptures within their context.
Jeremiah 29:11 is found in a letter written to the exiles. These were God’s people, who because of habitual disobedience to God, were in captivity. In this letter, God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah. In verses five through seven, God essentially gives His people a plan for their season of waiting: build houses, plant gardens, marry, have children, and pray for the city in which you live.
Lesson number one: Make the most of your time while you are waiting. Believe me, I understand how hard it is waiting for something you truly desire, but the worst thing we can do is hunker down in a pity party. Do good with what you have.
God goes on to say in verse ten, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.” He gives good and bad news. The bad news, they are going to be in captivity for a long time. The good news, God assures them He will fulfill His promise.
Lesson number two: God IS faithful, but His ways and timing are different than ours. Remember Isaiah 55, His ways are higher than ours. We see a single piece of the puzzle. He sees the whole picture. This is where faith comes in; believe God wants the BEST for you, even when you do not understand.
This leads to our focus verse, “I alone know the plans I have for you…” God alone knows the plans He has for you. You may have good intentions and ideas, but ultimately God has the BEST plan. The AMPC translation says “to give you hope in your final outcome.”
Lesson number three: God is more concerned about your character than your comfort. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.” God has great, amazing, and marvelous plans for you! But He wants your heart first.
Reflect & Respond:
1. Do you submit to God’s plans, or do you have a tendency to take the wheel and go your own way? Take some time to ask God what His plans are for your life.
2. Make the most of today. Practically, what does that mean for you? Make a plan and follow through.
3. Write Ephesians 3:20 on a notecard, and place it somewhere you will see it every day. Encourage yourself that God’s plans are immeasurably MORE than all you could ask or imagine.
Encouragement: Verse thirteen says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” You can be confident when you seek God, He will reveal Himself and the great plan He has for your life!
Recommended Resource: Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You, by Banning Liebscher