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. Jeremiah 29:11
I don’t know how familiar you are with this Jeremiah 29:11 verse, but it is often one of my go to verses. It brings much hope when I am wondering what God is up to in my life, especially when I feel like I have no idea what is going on. How does God show His plans?
I Know the Plans
First of all, each day, He knows how the day will unfold. I can either start my day in a conversation with Him or run off with my own plans. I have done both. I find that my day goes much better when I take the time to bring what is on my mind to Him in prayer.
When I can take a few minutes, I settle my mind and heart with a deep breathe. It is easy to tell Him what is rattling around in my brain. It is not so easy to quiet my heart, mind and soul to hear what He wants to say to me. “What do You have for me today, God?”
If I will ask that question, I often receive answers I would not have come up with on my own. He wants to show me the plans He knows will work for the day.
For example, He will put people on my mind to pray for and check in on. When I do that, I find out something is usually going on in their lives. It encourages them to know that God prompted someone to pray for them. And it encourages me to know I heard God correctly!
Talking to Him each morning also helps me make better choices throughout the day. When I have those prayer times, I feel like I am noticing things differently, like the beauty around me, or the sparkle in my grandson’s eyes, or the confirmation of something I read that says, “Yes, that is the next step.”
Plans I Have for You
The encouraging thing about God having plans for you and me is that they are in our best interest. He knows us inside and out. (Psalm 139) He knows what we need and what we desire. Psalm 23 says He is our shepherd, we lack no good thing. He leads us besides still waters and on paths of righteousness.
He has you and me!
Plans to Prosper and Not To Harm
Whatever plans are in store, they are to prosper us and not to harm us. Another meaning to the word plans are thoughts. His thoughts about us are to prosper and not to harm.
In a job move many years ago, my husband had been asked to move with his company to Milwaukee, a city near here. The day of the move, as the movers were loading the semi truck, I got a phone call. “I have been laid off.” Wow! Thus began our scramble to figure out what to do with a semi-truck load of furniture! The movers were betting that they would bring everything back into the house.
However, because we were under contract to sell our current home, we had to sell it. God was gracious though, because, since we didn’t have a job anymore, the bank in Milwaukee wouldn’t loan us the money to buy the house over there. It would actually have been worse to get over there and then get laid off with no friends, no family and no network of support. However for 48 hours we were homeless and had to figure out what to do with the semi-truck load of furniture!
God provided a new three-bedroom apartment, with a two-car garage for us, near our local church and school for our children. Because of the two-car garage, all of our three-bedroom house items fit. Needless to say, our cars didn’t go in the garage that winter!
God knew that move to Milwaukee was not a prosperous thing for us although at the time, we sure were puzzled. He gave me the Jeremiah verse that morning before we knew of my husband’s layoff to reassure me that He knew everything that was going on.
Plans for Hope
Even when you don’t see a hope and a future, you can trust God that He is and will provide that hope and future.
In our case, we had an apartment to live in, we didn’t have to leave friends in our hometown of Madison, and I still had a job here as I had planned to commute.
Within 4 months, my husband had a new job. Within 8 months, we had a newer home back in our old neighborhood, which of course, thrilled our children.
And A Future
Even though that episode in our lives happened 27 years ago, it became a watershed moment for our family in our faith journey.
God is not a genie in a bottle, for we had done all the right things in seeking His guidance in moving. We asked for wisdom, looked to Him for the right neighborhood in which to buy a home and felt we had prayed over our movements.
However, other things happened and we didn’t necessarily see the big picture that God saw. He gave us the future that He knew was best for our family.
We also found He was a God who provided. And over and over again, through the years, we have seen Him and trusted Him as that God who provides.
What about You?
Has life happened to you? You were expecting one thing and something else happened. What did you learn about God?
Life happens, yet He is near. He can be trusted. He will provide. I still think about that story in our lives, especially when I am tempted to think I am the one that has to do the providing. Then I stop and remember, “No, God knows the plans, for hope and a future.” Then I can release my grip on fear and worry. I do better, if I practice that daily and let God show me His plans..
I would love to hear your story of how God has shown you a hope and a future. Go to My Sacred Moments facebook page or share below those moments of hope and a future. I think it will encourage us all.
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..