Read Jeremiah 25 & 29
“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 is often used to give us a ray of hope in difficult times. We hear these words and can hold our heads high knowing God has a plan for us, right? He does. And that plan includes us following Him.
Just a few chapters before these hopeful words we see God’s wrath poured out on the people of Judah because they had disobeyed the Lord for many years. Jeremiah 25 describes their punishment in detail which included being sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Much like the recurring theme we continue to see throughout the Old Testament, the people disobeyed, were punished, but God still loved them and had a plan for them.
In chapter 29 starting in verse 4, God tells the people in exile to build houses, plant gardens and eat their produce, to marry, reproduce and to not decrease. God says to seek the welfare of the city where He has sent them, and to pray to Him on their behalf. He says, “for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Interesting huh? God has sent these people into exile but still uses them for His glory.
Much like the Exiles, we are not in our homeland—our forever home, heaven. Until the Lord comes and gets us or calls us home, we are exiles on this earth. We are exiles who God chooses to use for His glory.
He does have a plan for us. That plan is to follow Him until the day we reach our forever home.