A Future and a Hope
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope."
Although the Lord was speaking to a specific group here, this verse is used a lot to comfort those concerned about the future. During my senior year of high school, I heard this verse countless times. As a "planner," I would almost always think "But what ARE those plans?!" I would get frustrated because I wanted to see my whole life plotted out before me. I still kind of want that sometimes.
Something I've learned about the Lord, though, is that He can't reveal something that you aren't ready to hear. If the Lord told an adolescent Moses everything He had in store for him, Moses might have been intimidated by that kind of responsibility and shied away from it. Or look at Jonah, who did exactly that. Another lesson: you can't run away from the Lord's plans for you! I know that if God had revealed certain things about my future, I would not have been ready. I would have been scared rather than assured. Instead, God prepares and challenges you, awaiting the next step.
As many times as people have given me Jeremiah 29:11 as comfort, seldom were the following verses included.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 "Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
That was what people forgot about, what I forgot about. Most people would just say, “Yes, God has plans for you!” But what are we supposed to do about that? This verse encourages us to seek Him, in His Word, in prayer, and throughout our lives with all of our heart. God tells us that we can find Him only when we search for Him. We can’t know those plans or be open to those plans if we haven’t looked to Him to receive them. We need to let Him be our focus, instead of just His future for us. When you do seek the Lord, you might find that He has purposes that you didn't know you were able to fulfill.
So don't worry about your future, be comforted that God has good plans for you and seek Him with all your heart so He can reveal that plan to you step by step!