We all come from different walks of life, varying in times and seasons. But regardless of who you are, how old you are, where you grew up, how much money you have stashed away in the bank, whether you are married or single, black or white, tall or short…
We all have a longing to belong. A desire for purpose.
We want to be wanted. And have a reason to live. To live a life devoid of purpose is to not live life at all. As a result, we love hearing that God has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us so…
“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.”
This is one of the most quoted verses in all of Scripture. However, many times it is misunderstood as a genie bottle remedy to get what WE want. I want to marry so and so, I want to move to Timbuctoo, I want to buy this house or that car. We can easily manipulate this verse as a stamp of approval from God to have things done our way. Possibly without even asking God for wisdom, insight or direction.
This verse was written to the Israelites while in the midst of captivity to the Babylonians in the 6th century B.C. The prophet Jeremiah is prophesying of God’s continued blessing over them. However, there is somewhat of a catch. It doesn’t look as picture-perfect from a humanistic point of view. You see, the Israelites are being punished for journeying afar from God. There is a repercussion. They will be in captivity for the next 70 years. During that time, most people will die. They will not ever see this verse come to fruition.
God does have a plan for you. It just doesn’t always look as expected.
We have hope that despite our outward circumstances and the difficulties of life…we serve a God who has it all under control. This verse is meant to encourage us to keep our eyes upward. Remind us that no matter what, we can endure.
For this reason, King David could sing a tune when the enemy was quickly advancing.
For this reason, Daniel sat peacefully in the Lion’s Den.
For this reason, Elisha asked that his servant’s eyes be opened to see the greatness of God.
For this reason, the Apostle Paul could say, “I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.” Even when he sat in a cold, damp jail.
God does not promise an easy life. He promises a life filled with purpose.
As John Piper said, “God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display His supreme excellence in all spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work, not to be made much of, but to make much of Him in every part of our lives.”
A life that is not about you.
A life that is not about me.
A life that lives to give God glory.
Are you living a purposeful life? If not, what hindrances do you see?