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. (NIV)
Ever find yourself messing up God’s plan? God has a plan for everyone, but not everyone finds it. God’s plan for everyone is good. It is to help us flourish in every way that we might experience the fullness of God’s love, joy, and peace. In our passage today, He reminds us that regardless of where we might be in life, it is God’s plan for us that we would have an abundant life.
The context of our passage today is God speaking to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. Israel has been unfaithful and walks out from underneath the protection of God. Another nation invaded and took them captive. But God promises that when 70 years of captivity to this foreign nation has been completed, the Lord will bring them back because He has a plan for them.
The message to Israel continues as God tells them that after He brings them back to their own land, then they will call upon Him, seek Him, and find Him.
I want to pull out a few things here for our application. First, I want us to see that nothing can change God’s plan for our life, not even our own sin. Often we mess things up so badly that we are unable to comprehend how or why God would not give up on us. We convince ourselves that He has crumpled up His plan for our life and tossed it into Heaven’s wastebasket. But God’s love is too grand for this. He never gives up on us.
Secondly, I want us to note how God says the people of Israel are not going to call upon Him until after He has returned them to their land. They sinned. Despite their faithlessness, God resets their position to pursue His plan for them. He doesn’t wait for them to repent. They will still need to seek Him from there, but God has reset the spiritual scenery to give them this opportunity.
Not only does God never give up, but He also continues working for our good even before we repent. Even as we continue in whatever led us to leave His protection, He re-establishes His protection just in the hope we will then return to His plan for our life.
When you find yourself sitting in your own spiritual failure convinced you have ruined everything, remember the God who never stops loving you and know that even now, He is working to help you return to His plan. It’s never too late.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for a grace too beautiful for words. Amen.