“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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse many Christians have on their list of favorite verses, myself included. We all go through times where we have nothing else to hang onto in life but the promise that, despite our current evil circumstances, God’s plans for us are good, to give us a future and a hope.
One of the reasons we can find ourselves baffled, though, is forgetting to heed verses twelve and thirteen. God’s promises are often conditional on our response. God’s plans for us are exactly what he said–but we have to be following them, and that requires seeking him and being submitted to his will. The good news is he also promises we will find him when we seek him with all of our hearts. Ah, the condition again. We will obtain the inheritance, if we do not faint. We must abide in Him and stay close to him to stay filled up on the power and grace we need.
Lord, forgives us for the times we’ve let the business and cares of this world distract us and keep us from abiding in you. Deliver us from fear, bitterness, anger, sorrow, and any other thing that might be blocking us from you. We lift them up to you and surrender our plans to you today. Guide our footsteps and show us the way in which we should walk. We are deciding to trust you today. Strengthen us to follow through on our resolve. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.