By Gwen Williams, Contributing Writer
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This verse seems to be one many turn to in tough times. We want to cling to the words God says; cling to His gracious promises. This verse declares that the Lord wants to give us peace and prosper us, give us a future and a hope. This is good news no matter what it seems at the moment, God has not forgotten His people. He has ordered our steps and has our best interest at heart. He has plans; that means that they are well thought out and they have been bound and loosed on earth and in heaven. The authority of His word goes forth for the fulfillment of its purpose, and in that He gave us purpose the day we were born.
Our hope can stand on the fact that He sends His word out and it does not return void, it accomplishes what it set out to do. If He speaks healing, then we will be healed, if He speaks the gifts of wisdom and discernment over our lives, then it will be done. Likewise, if we ask that He enlarge our territory as Jabez did in His prayers to God, He will honor that. We can also confidently ask that our faith is strengthened and we are freed from the shackles of fear, which sometimes smothers that hope we greatly want and need.
This promise of a hope and a future rests in God restoring us back to Him; no more captivity. This restoration is that cleansing process that relies on us to seek God with our whole heart. We may not understand why things are happening or why we have to go through certain situations, and it can be really tough. The future may look unsettling and we become overwhelmed, but He promises that He will always hold us in His righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
Even when you can’t feel it, you have that hope that was instilled in you at the very beginning. Look closely, it’s that faint shimmer of light even if it’s a little dim, it’s there.
You might desire to see your loved ones saved, or desire to have a special someone to spend the holidays with, or finally have a family gathering where there is peace instead of conflict; place your petitions before God because blessed is the one whose hope is in the Lord.
Plan by its very definition shows a process, there are steps that need to be taken, molding and refining that needs to be done, a journey that needs to be walked through. Only God knows our heart, what we need, what we hope for and how it will be fulfilled; there is so much more in store than we can see, think or even ask.
There may be disappointment, confusion and frustration during the journey, but in the end as the plan is revealed there will be joy in the morning. Joy following that emotional, physical or financial breakthrough, joy following that provision for a friend or joy after an answered prayer that a loved one is saved and we are confident that we will see them in heaven.
The hope and the future is set out in His timing which can sometimes make us impatient, but if we reflect on how God came through in other situations in our life, then we can be sure He will do the same in this current situation. Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do, especially if we want to receive or witness the promise now. Did He show Himself mighty and strong in the Bible days? Isn’t He more than able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can think or ask? We can hold Him to His word and remind Him of what He said; in Him there is faith, hope and expectation. Anchor your expectation in Jesus because Jesus is at the center of our hope.
Thank you to Gwen Williams for contributing this article to the #RealHope series. Gwen is the author of God Provides A Way of Escape: A Domestic Violence Response and writes for her blog, The Journey of Healing.
This article is part of the #RealHope blog series and Hope Is Holiday Devotional Study.
For information regarding our current and future studies, visit our Bible study page.