"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. "
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
In some versions or translations of the Bible, you will see the word "plans" instead of "thoughts". The word in question is "machashabah or machashebeth" and according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it means thought, device so either word in English is correct.
A few years ago, Jeremiah 29:11 as translated in the NIV became a very popular scripture to quote:
"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." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
People were and still encouraged to quote this scripture and lay claim to it in order to obtain financial security by some ministers of the Gospel. After all, that's what it means to "prosper" right? Well, not exactly. You see, the word translated as prosper in the NIV is "shalom" (Strong's Hebrew 7965) which is usually translated into English as "peace" although it also means completeness, soundness, welfare as well as peace. God's plans for us may certainly include financial security but I believe that God's plans for us involve things far more precious than material wealth. Why do we want to settle for something less; something that will pass away rather than that which is eternal?
While certainly financial security can contribute to our peace, it is not a mandatory criteria for peace. If that were true, every single person who was financially secure would have peace and no one who was financially challenged would have it. Look at the world around you? Is this true? We don't have to look very far to find some very unhappy and troubled people amongst the rich, famous and successful. Their behavior is often a clear indicator that they are looking for peace and cannot find it. On the other hand, I daresay we can also think of individuals who had little or nothing and yet they exuberate so much peace that simply being in their presence gives you a sense of peacefulness as well. Financial prosperity is not the source of peace, God is.
When we walk with God, we can be confident that regardless of what we face, He is the God of hope and peace and He has a blueprint (plan) for your life. Sometimes the plan does not make a lot of sense to us. That is completely understandable because you see, we are neither the architect, designer or builder, God is.
Jeremiah 29:11 serves to remind me that God really does have a plan for my life. I may not always understand it and sometimes, well, I get a bit frantic when I see Him sawing something off, placing a beam over there when I think it should go over there or erecting a wall where I think there should be an opening. It might not make sense to me but that is when I must remember who is directing and doing the building. It is God and God knows exactly what He is doing.
There have been times I have rejected God's plans or foolishly tried to "improve" them. The outcome has never been good. I am very thankful that my foolishness never catches God by surprise and I can never mess up God's plan. Never.
Trust God. Trust that regardless of what life looks like at the moment, His plans for you are good. They might not look so good at the moment but they are. Trust Him.
Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved and the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
"Trust God. Trust that regardless of what life looks like at the moment, His plans for you are good. They might not look so good at the moment but they are. Trust Him."
Yes, this is what we must do! Trust Him!
I'm so glad you blogged on Today's Daily Bible Verse, K ... because you've penned an excellent portrait of what God wants us to see from this verse.
Wise, thoughtful, well-written. Thank you and God Bless
One of my most favorite verses.
Thanks for the information - found it very interesting.