God Has Plans for You

Jeremiah the prophet was told by God that the Israelites would experience horrific defeat and ultimately a 70 year exile into foreign land. It was a grim outlook that seemed hopeless. 70 years is a long time to be living in exile. But there was hope for the people who kept their eyes on God. He promised to return them and help them rebuild the land they once knew and loved: “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” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV). He promised that they would pray to him and he would hear their prayers.

Being in exile would require a lot of faith and trust in God as well as patience. Proverbs 21:5 says that “the plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” This rule applies to every aspect of life. If we want to come to an abundance in life we need to be diligent planners. We have to have vision and keep our focus on God. We have to always keep focused on the goal no matter what our current life circumstances are. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). We need to always strain toward the goal but it requires vision and planning. We can’t haphazardly walk through life crossing our fingers and hoping things will just work out. Focusing on the goal requires discipline, patience, and determination.