I pray that all are safe and healthy. The state of this world right now, may be causing us a little stress, anxiety and uncertainty. However, I believe that many of us may be in places where we really do NOT want to be, but may I suggest that we are just where God needs us to be … because God has a uniquely designed plan for each of us. Our message comes from the Book of Jeremiah, verses 10-14 (KJV). I hope that this message will inspire and encourage you.
10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Most times, we single out verse 11, but today let’s put it in context, by looking at the backstory. Starting with Jeremiah 27:22 KJV, God says, They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place. God told Jeremiah to tell ALL the nations of Israel, good and bad about His plan & it was non-negotiable. I believe that God will use whatever He feels necessary to move us out of our comfort zone and into our purpose that He has ordained for us...a pandemic though!?!?
Point # 1 – Flourish & Be Blessed in ALL situations
Beginning in Jeremiah 29:5, God says now while you are in captivity in Babylon, I want you to Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; He tells them to marry and have children and then He goes on to say in verse 7, Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. We should set aside that quiet time to seek the peace of God that passeth ALL understanding that will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (paraphased)
Point # 2 – We have an Expected End
Jeremiah 29:11, The Message translation says, I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 2020 did not catch God by surprise!
Point # 3 – Worship is a Command
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 KJV … We should take the time to worship God for Who is and to thank Him for what He’s already done. Not only praying for God to just fix things, but to ask Him what He needs us to do.
When we go through tough situations, it is to remind us that God is God. In Isaiah 55:8 (paraphased), He says, as far as the heaven is from the earth are my thoughts from your thoughts and my ways from your ways. We just need to stop trying to figure God out. What He does is just not going to make sense! If we would truly trust God with our whole heart and lean not on our understanding, acknowledging Him in ALL our ways and He will direct our paths [and decisions]. Proverbs 3:5-6 (paraphrased) … even when we are tired, discouraged, uncertain and even stressed, God is Still God and He’s with us every step of the way (Read Psalm 91).