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God plans to give you a future with hope
What it’s like to follow Jesus:
This leaves you open to criticism that you are trusting a delusion. Hopefully you have experienced enough of God’s mercy in your life that you can respond, “God has showed me many times in my life that God is faithful, and that helps me know that I can trust God to keep God’s promises no matter what I am going through.”
God plans to give us a future with hope.
God had Jeremiah write to the exiles in captivity who had been taken to a foreign country against their will:
Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:9-11 (NRSV)
The people Jeremiah wrote to may not have wanted to be in exile. They may not have wanted to hear that their exile would last longer than many of their lifetimes. (70 years!) But God’s promise through Jeremiah was that this plan was God’s doing for the people’s benefit, for their welfare and not for harm.
When we receive the promise of a future with hope, we may endure many difficult present moments, as Paul recounted in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27. Paul said he endured torture, beatings, a stoning, and countless dangers. Never-the-less, he wrote in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (NRSV) Paul counted all he endured as worth it for the sake of spreading the good news about Jesus.
Your present may be difficult. But God’s plans are for your welfare, to give you a future with hope. God’s future is worth what we endure to get there.
We can choose against God’s good plan for ourselves. (This is not good!) If we do, God will still accomplish God’s good plan with others. (See Numbers 13 and 14 as an example.)
God will be with us whatever we choose, but some choices are way better than others.
We have the privilege of passing on God’s kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 (NRSV):
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Thank you for trusting God to keep God’s promises
Thank you for making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commanded us.
Thank you for being faithful to God who loves you and causes all things to work together for good.
Verse to memorize
Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
What will you thank God for this week?
La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. LCMC has more than 700 congregations in the United States and more than 800 worldwide. Other great LCMC churches in San Diego County include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. To find an LCMC congregation near you, visit http://lcmc.net/memberdirectory.html
The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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