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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12


This is one of my favorite verses that I pray in both good and bad times.  God loves us so much that promises hope even while we face difficult times. He wants us to have a future; he does not want us to live, but enjoy life.


Especially during times of sorrow, we ask what does the future have in store.  In seasons of grief and loss, and when we face an uncertain future, we wonder how to manage when we do not see a future through our pain, and it can be frightening even to image feeling joy again.


We all have problems, seasons of difficulties when we do not know if we can make it through.  This scripture tells us the story of Jeremiah who gave the Israelites (who were in exile) that they would remain there for some time but that God promised the He would one day return them to their land.  God had plans for them that they could not see through their difficulties, but he promised them that there is the hope they could hold onto and look forward too during their challenging time. God, who knows us better than we know ourselves and reminds us that He brings both encouragement and challenges, that our lives are in His hands, and He has a perfect plan for each us, a future full of joy, even if we cannot see it.


God’s plans for us are always ultimately for our best, to help us not to harm us, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope. God’s plan is not for us to be sad all to time, or struggling all the time, or suffering all the time. So it was that in God’s perfect timing, Israel’s return from exile was with God’s purposes.  If we can’t see how God’s perfect plan is working out in our own lives right now, maybe there are other factors around us which would explain the timing of the things God is doing in our lives. Sometimes God’s perfect plan is waiting for other things, to teach us, to make us stronger, to move us to a different path in life that we could never imagine.  We have to learn to pray and trust in His promise.


It is human nature to want life to turn out our way; we tend to believe we know best, but the truth is that God is the master of our future   God’s perfect plan does not always happen immediately. The

Israelites were going to have to wait quite a while for the blessings God had promised them. But God wants us to have that hope; it is His will that we trust Him, go to Him during our times of sorrow, mistakes, and fears and reach forward to a new future that will come in His perfect time when joy and life fulfilled restored.


It is not easy; it takes faith and trust and at times seeking help as you face the uncertainty of life and wonder if you will ever be able to embrace the joy of a future unknown.


Embrace God’s promise, be prepared to call upon Him, seek His will, and obey Him. God has a perfect plan for our lives.