I Don’t Think This Scripture Meant What You Thought it Meant! Jer 29:11
Devotional Thought of the Day
11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. 12 When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me—oracle of the LORD—and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you—oracle of the LORD—and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you. NABRE Jeremiah 29:11-14
386 You lack faith… and you lack love. Were it not so you would go immediately and much more often to Jesus, asking for this thing and that. Don’t delay any further; call out to him and you will hear Christ speaking to you: “What do you want me to do for you?” Just as when he stopped for that poor blind man by the roadside who continued to insist, without giving up. (1)
Verse 11 of Jeremiah 29 is well known. You see it placed on coffee cups and t-shirts, on various memes and on cards that are sent to people going through tough times. It is used by pastors and priests to bring comfort, and yes hope to people going through challenges and enduring hardships.
We’ll memorize it, but do we always remember the context?
It is in the middle of a call to repentance, in the middle of Jeremiah’s prophecies about the pain and suffering Israel would endure, because their people followed their own desires. Because they listened to prophets who gave them false hope. Who told them what they wanted to hear, and so they placed their hope in these men.
Sort of like those today, who maintain that all will be right, that we will be restored to greatness, if only this candidate or that wins an election. Or if only this or that is done, or only if…only if…
But don’t touch OUR sin. Don’t challenge us to repent. Don’t bring up the fact that we need to love our enemies and pray for those who oppress us.
You see, when you finish with the promise of verse 11, you see verse 12, and a cry to come and deliver us. A cry and another promise, God will listen, He will hear your cry! He will change things, heal that is wounded, restore that which is broken. He will create in you a new creation, a creation with a future and a hope.
When the people of God seek God their Father, they will find Him (for it is to believers this is written) He won’t reject us, He won’t crush us because we sinned and rebelled.
This passage offering a future and a hope is far more powerful a promise, far more a comfort than we think. For it brings a hope, a blessed expectation, not just to those who are innocent victims of circumstance, not just to those oppressed and poor. Surely they hope, but this is written to those broken apart, crushed by their own sin. It is written to those of us who do not deserve a future and a hope, but God promises us a future and hope as well.
That is why this passage is far more powerful than we usually think it is.It applies to those who are struggling with their own sin, who don’t believe God could ever care. To the addict, or the prostitute, to the mobster and the gang-banger, to the politician and to you and I.
It’s time to claim the promise, to let God reconcile you and I to Him. It’s time to cry our,and keep crying out, depending on a God who came to bring us home.
He is listening, He is with you!
My friend, He has promised this as well, that His peace, which goes beyond our ability to comprehend is your, and that He will keep your heart and mind safe in that peace.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1511-1515). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on July 1, 2016, in Devotions, st josemaria escriva, The Forge and tagged Abiding in Christ, future and a hope, Jeremiah 23:11, Life in Christ, repentance, sinners, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.