“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, ESV).
God has a plan for your life. He has some objectives for you. Even knowing those truths, it’s still easy to get stuck in the bottomless vortex of questions: Who am I supposed to marry? Where am I going to live? What am I going to do for work? It’s time to set aside the questions and get back to what God has said.
His plans for you are not so much about those specifics as they are about developing your character. Everything else will sort itself out.
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God always has plans for the welfare and future of those who are His. He always has plans to give His children hope. Even in the middle of sad and sobering words of judgment, God poured out His heart for His people. He pointed them (and us) toward a relationship. The circumstances He allows are designed to cause us to call upon Him. We’re always able to call, seek, and find Him because He wants us to call, seek, and find Him!
When God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” His words are a great comfort. But wouldn’t you love to get a look at those plans? The tension isn’t, “Does God know?” The tension is, “I want to know!” Although God understands our questions, He doesn’t owe us any answers. It’s as if He says, “I know, but I’m not going to fill you in . . . yet.”
He does give us hints, however. God provides us with some general categories that describe His purposes. First, they are plans for your welfare. The Hebrew word is shalom, meaning “the complete state of well-being; fulfillment; prosperity; peace.” As God looks down the telescope of time, His plans are for your total well-being.
Second, His designs for you are not for evil. People who are determined to prove they can live contrary to God’s program will pay a price for their experiment. God’s plans take us away from evil; ours tend to take us smack into the middle of it.
Third, God’s plans are designed to give you a future and a hope, both immediately and eternally. The biblical definition of hope is a confident expectation of something better tomorrow. When your hope is in God, He’ll always deliver. It doesn’t matter what has happened, better things are coming. That’s hope! You can be confident He has good plans for you.
This post originally appeared on Dr. James MacDonald’s daily devotional Our Journey and was republished with permission.
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James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is the founding senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, leads the church-planting ministry of Harvest Bible Fellowship, teaches the practical application of God’s Word on the Walk in the Word radio and television programs, and is a gifted author and speaker. You can find out more about James and his ministries at WalkintheWord.org.