The Bible Verse That Gives Hope To Millions, Part 2 [Video]
Did you miss Part 1? Check it out HERE. Did bad things happen to those to whom Jeremiah wrote?
Can we apply the words of Jeremiah 29:11 to our lives today even in the face of tragedy and difficult circumstances?
I have two thoughts about this. Watch the video or read the text below to find out more.
The promise of God may take decades to come to pass.
If only people would read the text in context. In Jeremiah 29:10, the prophet reveals to the Jews held captive in Babylon,
"For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.’”
Daniel knew this text in context. In Daniel 9:2 we read,
“In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.”
In the case of Steven Curtis Chapman, he knows that God may never bring about His perfect plan until Heaven. Regardless, he has chosen to trust in God’s compassionate sovereignty in spite of the tragic circumstances.
As with the Romans (some of whom were led to the slaughter like lambs), Paul calls him to believe that God is working all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Behind the scenes of 70 dark years of pain, if need be, Steven Curtis chooses to believe that God has good plans, not bad plans. He creates these good plans because His purposes are based upon His all-loving and all-powerful nature.
Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 are trustworthy passages not because they will be fulfilled today, but because they will be fulfilled one day, even if that is the first day we step upon the shores of Heaven.
God’s promises do not kick in so that our world can become painless and sinless.
The people of God to whom Jeremiah wrote had to endure 70 more years of captivity, driven about here and there. And after they returned to the land of Israel, they would still need to turn to God for help in all the temptations and tribulations they encountered.
It is here the skeptic pulls his hair out over what he interprets as complete lunacy. To the cynic, it is a psychological disorder in a religiously minded person that enables him to put a positive spin on meaningless suffering. Perhaps this is the case for some.
Then again, no one has ever profiled Jesus in this light. Jesus calls His followers to trust and endure for a lifetime regardless of the outcome and to acknowledge the reality of evil and suffering in the world. Jesus said,
"It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
He also said,
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
To Jesus, the prudent trust in the words of God no matter what.
If God so chooses, one might experience the glorious fulfillment of certain promises on earth. Matthew, one of the early followers of Jesus, reminded his readers of this saying,
“Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled” (Matthew 2:17).
“Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled” (Matthew 29:9).
I don’t know your situation, but I do know that God calls you as Christ-followers to trust and apply verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 to your circumstances.
A child may have died or a spouse may have walked out on the marriage. The promises of God do not block out all such suffering. In fact, the promises of God include suffering. The godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy), but the promises of God always kick in to some degree within the suffering.
God may not stop the pain, but He does show up in the pain.
One can experience God’s presence, power, peace and purpose independent of death and divorce. That’s a promise! This is what Stephen Curtis Chapman and the grieving grandmother trusted, and so must you.
This is not a psychological trick; it is a belief that Jesus Himself exercised. You are not in bad company!
Are you choosing to trust in God’s compassionate sovereignty in spite of tragic circumstances?
Do you believe that God is working all things together for good?
Do you believe God’s plans are good because His purposes are based on His all-loving and all-powerful nature?