Getting Yourself To God’s Good Plans
5 “Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” Jeremiah 29:5-7 NKJV
In these verses the Lord is speaking to the exiles of His promises. They were in captivity because they rejected God and refused to obey Him. The Lord tells them to prosper where they were. They wanted to come home to the land of promise he had given them. While God did have a plan for their eventual return to their land of promise, He tells them not to look home but prosper where they were. They were to pray for where they were because as the place where they were captive prospers, so would they prosper.
If you would read a few verses further in chapter 29, verses 11-14, you will see that He does still have great plans for them, a future for them with hope. But right now, they are to prosper where they are and pray for the place where they dwell.
If you are in a bad place or a bad situation in your life, like your job for example, learn from the words He spoke to his exiled people and take heart from the promises that He gave to them. God has good plans for you regardless of how things feel to you at the moment. You may be frustrated with your job, your marriage, or any other aspect of your life, but just as His children did in the Old Testament, so must we walk through our trial. Make no mistake. You are not in exile as they were, you are under a different covenant, but we do live in a fallen world where bad things do happen and we may find ourselves in difficult or even bad situations. Remember, He has good plans for you and your life, your job, your marriage and everything in your world.
The key question for us is how do we get to those good plans that He has for us? How do we get from here to there? Let’s consider your job as an example. If you are in a bad job or job situation, instead of getting up each day and being angry or dreading the work day and hating the work, get up each day and pray for the success of that place and the people that are there.Even pray for the ones that make your job miserable or who may have wronged you. As the place where you work prospers, because you are there and praying, so will you prosper. Then you will get through the trial of that place and that experience and move ahead to the good plans that He has for your life!
J Todd Hostetler