For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
How do you handle change: a new home, new job, the prospect of becoming a mother or father for the first time? With change we often experience uncertainty.
The Israelites experienced a time of change. Exiled in the land of Babylon far away from what they knew as their normal way of life, they experienced despair and hopelessness. They believed they had no future, no hope. They felt as though all was lost.
During this time God used the prophet Jeremiah to write them words of comfort. In Jeremiah chapter 29, God assured them that despite what they were experiencing, He was with them. He wanted them to know that He had a plan for them; that the plan He had for them was good; and that His plans for them were filled with hope and promise.
What strikes me about this chapter is that before telling them about His promises for them, He gave them two important instructions:
to be productive and to pray (29:5-6; 9:7)
While we all experience seasons of change – often bringing with it uncertainty and fear – rather than curl up and wither away, God encourages us to build and plant where we are (29:5). In other words live in the present and forget about the past.
During times of change, while we may find it difficult to pray, it is prayer that stabilises us. Prayer is the fuel that will ignite your passion to reach towards the promises of God for your life.
In the process of change, when we remain productive and stay in prayer, the result will be success. God promised the Israelites in verses 12-14 of the same chapter: “…call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you…and will bring you back from captivity.
Change is temporary, God’s promises are eternal.
When we learn to yield totally to him, and rest assured in His promises, we will ultimately fulfil His will for our lives. No matter what season of change you are going through, God has it all worked out! He has a plan for you, a good plan; a plan that guarantees you hope and a future. Be open to it! He has a divine purpose for your life.