We are familiar with a couple of verses from Jeremiah’s letter to the captives in Jeremiah 29, but recognizing that God knows the plans that He has for us is more powerful when we get a sense of how out of the plan we may actually seem at the time. 

The prophet sent a letter from Jerusalem to those who had already been carried away captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. 

The word of the Lord to them was probably not what they would have expected. He told them to build houses and dwell in them, to plant gardens and eat the fruit of them; to continue life in marrying and giving in marriage...having children to increase in number rather than diminish. 

They were even instructed to pray for the peace of the land in which they were captives! 

And so, we come to verse 11—one of the most beloved and clung to Scriptures in the Bible. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 

They had just been instructed to get comfortable in a foreign land, because deliverance would take a while. Then they hear that the Lord has a plan. Yes, the captivity was out of punishment due to disobedience, but the Lord does not give up on His children. And He did not want them to give up hope. He promised to bring them back home, and He fulfilled His promise. 

The promises of God are still "yes" and "amen" in Christ. We may live in the Babylon of this world as we wait to be carried to our home in heaven. We may have instructions to build houses and live our lives to the best of our abilities as we wait. But do not ever forget that He has not forgotten where we are. He does indeed know the thoughts that He thinks toward you, and He will fulfill His Word. 

I dare you to trust Him. 

Amanda Conn has been a member of The River Church of God for more than 20 years, involved in several different ministries — one of which is writing the devotion for the church’s website. She also works at Industrial Rental in Guntersville. She is the wife of Jeff Conn and mother to Jayden and Avery.

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