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 ESV
This verse has been a favorite in our home for many years. I accepted it as true because it comes from God’s word. However, I can’t say I understood it or really believed it for a very long time.
Many families, including mine, have experienced a lot of tragedy in life. Our prayer lists are filled with needs for healing, intervention, and provision, much more than they are filled with praise. Life is overwhelming much of the time and appears to be getting worse in light of the pandemic and the negative side effects it brings.
My point is that it is very easy to focus on the negative. I fall into that trap more than I care to admit, and I think I have a lot of company. I have to work at taking my mind off the negative and focus on the positive. I must make a choice to set my mind on the goodness of our Lord.
When I function in the realm of positive faith, I find myself being reminded how far the Lord has brought me; how He has plans for our welfare, how He has been and still is delivering us from evil. He has given us a future with Him, and our lives are filled with hope based on that future. Thankfully, when I forget to focus on that hope, my family is very good about helping me get back.
One of the advantages of being of advanced age (yes, I’m old) is this ability to look back and see God’s work in my life. How he has always provided for me and that I live in prosperity unimagined by me early in life. This is one of the promises I see fulfilled, and the best is yet to be.
God’s promises are not always fulfilled in a way we understand. Many times, we have to wait in faith, choosing to focus on our Lord. I’ve spent many years around 12 Step recovery tables, where you hear this: “It works if you work it but won’t if you don’t.” They also say “…but keep coming back anyway!” We are here to remind each other that God’s word is true all the time. We must “keep coming back” to it!