Hope in God’s Plan

So… summer is over, and it appears that I may have taken an unplanned sabbatical from blogging. I think I was busy having a great summer with my family! We completed our “Summer of Fun” calendar, took a couple trips, and made some wonderful memories. And there’s so much we didn’t get to – it went by so fast!

But today is a new day. A new month has begun. A new school year has started. A new season is in full swing.

So much new.

A chance to start over, begin fresh, reevaluate goals and set new ones… to keep running the race that’s been marked out for each one of us.

And I’m left here thinking, I don’t want to miss what’s right in front of me. I don’t want to miss God’s plan for my life.

The enemy has plans, schemes and strategies to keep us from being who we were created to be, and from doing what we were created to do. Satan wants us silent and stagnant, fearful and feeling like we’re failing. And he knows how to make us think those defeating thoughts! He knows what buttons to push. He knows what works to get to you and to me.

But God. ❤

God, our loving Father, our faithful Creator, our all-knowing and all-seeing God – He too has a plan for each of our lives… to be who He created us to be, to do what He created us to do. He wants us engaged and advancing, powerful and free. Even in hardship, in tough times, we can cling to the hope and future – the plan – that God has.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a well-known and easily memorized verse. “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.”

But do we really believe it, from the depths of our souls, with all of our hearts? And what about the verses surrounding it? God spoke this promise to His exiled people after promising 70 years of captivity in enemy territory. And if you read verses 12-14, you see the purpose behind the plan to prosper – relationship with God. He wants us to draw near to Him, to call on Him, to trust Him… to search for Him with all our hearts… to depend on Him more than anything else.

            “This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV)

I pray today we’d get a glimpse of the hope and future that is found in God alone. I pray for renewal in our relationship with Him, for times of refreshing to come. And I pray that we’d no longer be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes, but instead embrace who we are and what we were made to do. May God turn to the good whatever the devil intended for evil. To God be all the glory!

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