Sometime in the past couple of years, Craig Groeschel, my pastor has spoken specifically on Jeremiah 29:11. A verse that might be quoted as much, if not more, than John 3:16. At the time, I had no memory of writing this blog post, but the truth of his words resounded in my heart. Today several months later, as I have been looking through my old blog in the attempts to migrate key post to this newer one, I came across the post below that I had written on October 10, 2007.
October 10, 2007 was several months before meeting my wife Niki. In October of 2010, I was serving as the Worship Pastor, Teaching Pastor and Small Groups Pastor of a church in Duncanville. I was leading a company, freelancing for tours and corporate events, was touring and leading worship, and certainly was running at a horrendously fast pace, as most of my life in those years was extremely fast paced. The pace of my life left me often times alone and distant from real relationships.
I was living a life that was isolate, distancing and difficult. I was deeply saddened at not knowing or having any prospects at a wife in the moment and was barely clinging to a thread of hope that God would one day send a woman into my life.
I am not sure what prompted this writing, but now almost 10 years later, I can certainly say that even though I might not have admitted it then, I was living my life as in exile. Maybe that played into this writing... maybe not, but I feel it is a great truth that we can all benefit from today.
_____________________________________ Original Publish Date : October 10, 2007 ____________________________________
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So, we’ve all heard this verse, ad nauseam, and I’ve even studied it multiple times in school… but I am not sure it ever really sunk in or resonated with me. This verse is written to the exiles on behalf of God during a 70-year discipline. This promise was not going to be fulfilled the day after it was given. Earlier in the chapter God told them to prepare for the long haul: plow, build, marry, bury. Get comfortable, but remember Me.
Jeremiah 29:12 – “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
And these verses are SO much more powerful than the first. Frankly, Jeremiah 29:11 was not written to us. It was written to the Jewish Nation… a specific promise, for a specific time, for a specific people group. Obviously, when taken in the context of Scripture it definitely can be applied more broadly. But it cannot stand on it’s own in that respect. In contrast, verses 12-14 are in my estimation more applicable to all people, of all nations, of all generations.
I think that it is important that the Lord will be found… when we seek with all our heart.
He will listen… when we call and pray.
We will be brought back from captivity… when He is found.
We will be carried out of the captivity… which He
carried us into.