It’s very easy when thinking about God’s plan for our lives to have the attitude: “it’s all about me.” Yes, it’s true that God cares about every intricate detail in our lives. In fact, Jesus said that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. We can also mistakenly think that God’s plan is always going to be a “feel good” plan with the intent to make us happy.
“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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Jeremiah’s message in these verses is actually radically different. He’s writing to a group of people who are being held captive, and are in exile from their homeland. He’s writing to let them know that although they’re not where they would have expected, nor where they would have asked God to place them, God has not forgotten them and He still has a plan for their lives.
Even in the midst of a difficult situation, God wants them to know His plans. In the preceding verses we see that a big part of God’s plan is for them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:7). In other words, God wants them to know that His plans are not just to benefit them personally. God’s also telling them that He’s not removing them from the situation immediately. He does promise to eventually restore them, but it’s not coming quickly (70 years out when many of them will be dead). God’s letting them know they can move forward, because in the eternal picture, God’s justice will prevail and everything will even out.
Today, in the midst of difficult situations, God wants us to know He has a plan. He also wants us to know that as we submit to His plan that He desires to use us to bless the world around us. The key still remains during both good and difficult times: You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.