The Persevering Prophet: I Know the Plans I Have for You

PP-Plans

In the middle of the book of Jeremiah, there’s this verse that I suspect most Christians consider their “life verse.” It’s everywhere. It’s on t-shirts, coffee cups, posters (maybe with a beautiful landscape or cute fuzzy animals), greeting cards… you name it, there’s probably a product with this verse on it:

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

It’s a great verse, no doubt. It’s incredibly inspiring. Many read it and, in application to themselves say, “Wow, God has a plan for me. A plan for my welfare and for my future!” And while that’s true (see Romans 8:28-29), there’s something else going on. When God said this to the Israelites, in a letter from Jeremiah, they had just been taken into exile in Babylon. And during that time, many “prophets” were giving the people false hope, telling them that they would be back in Jerusalem on top of the world in a couple years, tops. But this is not God’s plan for them; just the opposite, in fact. [Read more...]