Monday, January 7, 2008

Imagine That! Those Prophets Knew What They Were Talking About!

If you are anything like me, you have your favorite parts of the Bible and then you have the parts that you, well...that you kind of skip over. Like the minor prophets. I know, I know - they can be a bit confusing and obscure. But, let me tell you, there is power there! In fact, I had a post all in mind from what I read yesterday in both Joel and in Hosea. But then I went to church and our reading was from Jeremiah (who I don't think technically falls under the minor prophets - just in case you wondered).

Most of us have read this verse somewhere. Lots of people claim it as their favorite verse.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. " Jeremiah 29:11

But I had forgotten the context. Get this:

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But 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." Jeremiah 29: 4-7

So, this promise is to those who had been taken in exile, carried off to Babylon, something ordained by God Himself. And, while it's not technically where Babylon was, Qatar is in the same region, right?

This was just such confirmation to me that everything is going to be alright. God wants us to "bloom where we are planted." Make a home; invest in where you are; put down roots.

Maybe God has put you somewhere you didn't want to be. Maybe in a place you never thought of living. Perhaps it's a job or a church where you aren't as happy as you think you can be. Sister, make yourself happy! Build a life. Determine that you will make the best of your situation and then do it.

Oftentimes I've counseled friends (and myself) that feelings follow actions. Don't feel loving towards someone? Pray for them and do something kind for them. Eventually your heart will soften towards them. It's the same with being in a place you don't want to be. Seek out the good - wherever you are, it's where God put you. He is sovereign and is totally able to remove you from your situation if He wanted to, so you might as well accept His will and deal with it!

And that's when you remind yourself that God does have a plan for you. A plan to prosper you and to give you a hope and a future. Don't be so wrapped up in your unhappiness that you miss it!


Karen said...

What wonderful words and a great reminder. I quote that verse to myself often. Usually when things are not going as well as I think they should. But honestly, it's probably a good verse to use when everything is all hunky-dory too. Because, after all, isn't that the promise?


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