I know the plans I have for you...

The infamous Jeremiah 29:11.

A verse printed on plaques and shared in times of trouble.

This is not meant to take anything away from what the Lord is trying to say here, but have you ever read the other verses surrounding this one? Yes, this verse is great, and hopeful and encouraging... but before it comes a promise of 70 years of exile in Babylon for the Israelites.

Exile: a situation in which you are forced to leave your country or home and go to live in a foreign country.

Do you realize God spoke these words to the people of Israel as He was sending them out of their homeland because of their sin and disobedience? He knew the plans He had for them were good... but by golly, I bet they didn't feel real good to the Israelites in the moment.

You see, it's easy to quote these verses to make us feel good, but are you ready to trust that God's plans for you are good... no matter what they are or how they actually make you feel?

When sickness comes, when tragedy strikes, when deep sorrow and heartbreak is felt... will you still hold fast to the promise that God's plans for you are good?
That is my prayer for you, friend... that you will be able to answer, "Yes!"

You see... we serve a God who is all-knowing, all-seeing, sovereign in all things.
He sees how every single piece of the puzzle that is our life fits together perfectly to create a beautiful masterpiece.

Some of those pieces, when viewed individually, don't appear to measure up. They don't look like they should fit. They are just all wonky.

But when we can allow God to take each of those pieces, and ever so gently and carefully maneuver it into the exact spot where it belongs, the end result is something beautiful. 

In the middle of our exile, heartbreak and tragedy, we can rise up and continue to carry on, one foot in front of the next. God told His people that during this time of exile they were to still build, plant, eat, marry, multiply... and not dwindle away! (Jer. 29:4-7) 

We can trust that the Lord's plans are always good, while at the same time realizing that what we perceive as good may not line up with the 'good' things the Lord sends our way. Because the trials, tragedies, and exiles of this life are what grow us, and strengthen us, and ultimately all do work together for our good and His glory.


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