“Because I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plan to prosper and not hurt you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Perhaps you have come face to face with the sadness Jeremiah felt. Perhaps you also know what it is like to see everything collapse around you. You know the pain, the uncertainty.
How to know the plans God has for you
Do you know the promise?
God gave this promise to the people of Israel who lived in exile, but it is no less true for any of us who follow Jesus. He has a plan and a purpose for us that, while not always easy, is surely for our good and His glory (Romans 8).
So how can we know what plan you have for us? And how can we walk with confidence in it?
Before God made this famous promise, He warned the people of Israel not to listen to false voices (Jeremiah 29: 8–9). The same is true for you. In general, you will hear advice from various sources on what your purpose is, why you are here on earth, and how to overcome challenges. In fact, all of these voices can be deafening.
But knowing the plans that God has for you means listening to the One who has them. You need to make time in your daily life to stop and read God’s Word and speak to him. That’s the only way you can navigate the cacophony of opinions that attack you. When you know your Creator and his voice, you can hear him above the noise.
The more you get used to His Word, the more secure you will feel in His guidance through the Holy Spirit.
Make room in your life to pray and study the Bible. You need to hear the voice of God over the roar of the world.
- Philippians 4:13 meaning with detailed explanation
- John 3:16 meaning and explanation of For God so loved the world
- Purpose Of Your Existence
Keep your head up
God spoke this passage to the people of Israel who had been dragged into exile far from their homes. They faced very difficult times but did not want the previous loss to be their focus. Instead, he wanted them to focus on future hope.
The same is true for you. When faced with challenges, you will want to quit smoking or change direction. But if you’ve spent time listening to God, challenges don’t necessarily mean you should throw in the towel. In fact, it may well be the challenges themselves that prepare you for God’s purpose in your life.
When the officials threw the apostle Paul into prison, he did not take it as a sign that he should pack him up and go home. He took the opportunity to sing praises and witness to the jailer and his family (Acts 16).
If your children seem to be drifting further and further away from Christ, if your marriage is not improving, if no jobs have been opened, don’t let those circumstances get you down. Look for opportunities to shine the light of Christ even more. Ask God to continue to mold you through trials.
Keep believing that God is doing something, even if you can’t see it yet. After all, God’s purpose for our lives often takes us through the valley to refine us.
If you are in the heart of a bad situation, take a moment to pray about it and look for the opportunities that God may have for you. Take stock of how God is using this difficult time to change you.
Look up to the cross
God gave an amazing promise to the Israelites from Jeremiah’s day:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Not long after, God would fulfill all the promises He had made to them. You see, from Genesis 3:15 to the Babylonian exile (and his subsequent return), God had been speaking to them of a Savior, a Promised One, a Messiah. And God wanted His people to remember that He would keep His Word for them.
In our case, all of God’s plans and promises for our lives begin with the cross. Our purpose on this earth begins at Calvary with the death of Jesus and continues to the grave with His resurrection. As Christians, we are here to share that good news in everything we do. That is at the heart of what God wants for us, and his purpose will never keep you from being ambassadors of his grace (2 Corinthians 5:20).
So whatever plan God has for you will begin and end with Jesus. You will have the opportunity to share the good news about Him in whatever situation God wants for you.
Take an inventory of your goals and aspirations. Is Jesus at the center of them? If you aren’t or are not sure, ask God to help you keep the cross in view.