I think one of the most quoted and misunderstood passages of scripture is Jeremiah 29:11. – "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 upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord." (NIV)
Why is it misunderstood? Because we often read it out of context. And what does that mean? It means that we extract a portion of scripture and use it without connecting it to its full purpose. Yes, God knows the plans for us and yes, they are good. Those plans include our prosperity, protection, and a productive life, BUT there is more to what those blissful words reveal to us. If we read on, we will discover that in order to meet the qualifications for Jeremiah 29:11, we have to fully participate in what comes behind it.
God tells us to, “Call upon Him, Come, and Pray to Him.” Imagine that! We thought that Jeremiah 29:11 was all-inclusive. No! In order to experience what is recorded in Jeremiah 29:11, we have a responsibility to call upon the Lord, draw near to Him, and pray! Then, after that criteria is met, God promises to meet us and reveal Himself to us. Isn’t that wonderful?
Listen, God has plans for you and me that have never crossed our minds. Many times, we are so inundated with surviving the day, that we fail to appreciate the glorious future God has in mind for us. Yes, we fall down, make horrendous mistakes, and process through the disappointment we have caused ourselves and maybe others, but God’s plans have not changed. He is not making them up as we go; He has allowed for every misstep and mishap we will ever experience while keeping consistent with His plans. I want you to be encouraged, but even more so, be enlightened. Do not stop at Jeremiah 29:11; go a little further that you can find yourself enjoying a beautiful and wholesome relationship with the Lord of all glory. He wants to do amazing things in your life, but you must participate!